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] 


Hon.   Alexander  Mackenzie. 
(From  a  J'/ivloyrajih  by  TopUy,  OtUiua,  l^Hi/.J 


Miii 


,v,jj  /j\>^;t!|'^''a^  ■ 


•  •     ^,.^..,.  (.!.«, 


Mrs.    Mackenzie. 

( Ft'om  a  Photuijraph  by  Toii/ii/,  Ottawa,  ISSS,) 


T- 


THb: 


HON.  flLEHNDER  MACKENZIE 


HIS  LIFE  AND  TIMES 


BY 


WILLIAM   BUCKINGHAM 


Private  Secretary 

AND 


HON.  GEO.  W.  ROSS,  LL.D. 

Minister  of  Education,  Ontario 


"The  better  I  have  become  acquainted  with  you,  the  more  I  have  learned 
to  respect  and  honor  the  straightforward  integrity  of  your  character,  and  tiie 
unmistakable  desire  to  do  your  dutj'  faithfully  by  the  Queen,  the  Empire  and 

the  Dominion In  my  opinion,  neither  in  England  nor  in  Canada  has 

any  public  servant  of  the  Crown  administered  the  affairs  c  f  the  nation  witii  a 
purer  patriotism,  with  a  more  indefatigable  industry,  or  nobler  aspirations 
than  yourself.'' — Lord  Dufferin. 

"  It  will  be  a  bright  page  in  the  iiistory  of  Canada  that  tells  that  the  first 
Reform  Minister  of  this  great  Dominion  was  the  noblest  workingnmn  in  the 
land."— Hon.  Georgk  Brown. 


FIFTH   EDITION. 


ROSE   rUBLISHING   COMPANY  (Limited) 

C.  R.  Parish  &  Company 
1.S92 


ntiNTKn  .AND  norsD  nv 

HCMKR,     llosK    &    COMPANT 
TOBfi.NT'j 


508U9 


^ 


Entered  acconlu.g    to  tl.e  Act   of   Parliament   o7  Canada    in    fho  ^~ 

t  ^a„d  ei,Ht  ...ndred  and  ninety- two,  .,  t,^  w'  I^   .    LJTVr 
^  PANV  (Limited),  at  the  Department  of  Agricult.ne. 


i 


TO 


THE   WIDOW   AND   FAMILY 


OF 


Zbc  Xate  "^oon,  IMcx-  /lOacheuiic, 


THE    FIRST    LIREUAL    PREMIER    OP   THE    DOMINION, 


CxiNADAS  STAINLESS   STATESMAN, 


TUIS  V0LUM8 


3o  IJeapcctfulU)  Diuacflbcb. 


I 


INTRODUCTION. 


-»-♦-*- 


HE  history  of  an  individual  is  often  the  history  of  a 
nation.     The  domination  of  a  sinf^le   mind  may 
determine  for  centuries  the  course  of  a  nation's 
life.     The  mere  statement  of  this  proposition  calls 
^^     up  such  names  as  Cromwell,  Chatham,  Peel. 

The  writer  of  biography  is  not,  however,  an  historian. 
He  has  to  do  with  the  forces  which  make  history  rather  than 
with  history  itself.  He  has  to  look  from  the  effect  to  the 
cause — from  the  cleft  sea  to  the  wondrous  rod  in  the  leader's 
hand.  The  effect  of  social  environment  on  the  subject  of 
his  narrative,  the  influence  upon  him  of  education,  of  business, 
of  wealth  or  of  poverty,  he  is  bound  to  consider ;  but  while 
doing  so  he  is  ever  conscious  of  the  fact  that  many  millions  of 
the  race  whose  biographies,  happily,  have  not  been  written, 
were  similarly  conditioned.  He  finds  that  thousands  )f  Ame- 
rican  citizens  toiled  upon  the  farm  and  split  rails  as  did  Abra- 
ham Lincoln  ;  yet  only  one  of  these  thousands  became  Presi- 
dent of  the  United  States.  Scotland  had  generations  of  pea- 
sant ploughmen  ;  yet  only  one  was  a  Robert  Burns.  England 
produced  many  novelists  and  brilliant  adventurers; yet  only 
one  ever  became  Premier.  Why  this  discrimination  is  what 
constantly  occurs  to  the  biograplier.     Is  it  owing  to  native 


10 


IXTRODUCTlOy. 


i 


talent  ?  If  so,  how  did  that  talent  first  express  itself  ?  How 
was  it  first  discovered  ?  Or,  was  success  owint^  to  some  adven- 
titious circumstance,  which  would  be  equally  effective  in  secur- 
ing distinction  for  the  many  thousands  whose  names  have 
passed  into  oblivion? 

The  subject  of  this  memoir  was  not  presented  to  the  world 
as  an  object  of  admiration,  because  of  ancestral  lineage  or  rank. 
No  doubt  his  presence  gladdened  his  Highland  home,  as  such 
"  sweet  pledges  of  immortality  "  gladden  other  homes.  At  his 
father's  fireside,  or  at  the  parish  school,  he  was  like  other  boys. 
It  seems  no  one  in  early  life  smoothed  down  his  flaxen  curls, 
and  whispered  in  his  ear,  prophetically,  the  story  of  his  future 
greatness.  Not  even  when  toiling  in  the  "  bothy  "  with  his 
fellow  masons  did  any  prescient  comrade  see  in  him  the  germs  of 
statesmanship ;  and  yet  there  must  have  been  at  work  even  in 
thase  early  days  that  hidden  growth  of  mind  and  character, 
which  afterwards  developed  into  a  great  leader  of  ]niblic 
opinion.  How  strange  is  destiny  !  See  in  the  humble  stone- 
mason, shaping,  with  mallet  and  chisel,  the  rough  granite  of 
his  native  country  into  the  stately  column  or  the  well-propor- 
tioned capital,  a  future  Premier  of  Canada,  shaping  the  policy 
of  a  great  country,  and  giving  it  an  enduring  name  among 
the  nations  of  the  world,  and  explain  in  advance,  if  you  can, 
how  it  is  to  be  brought  aljout. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  early  days  in  Canada  were  as  uneventful  as 
his  Scottish  life.  Like  thousands  of  others,  who  clambered  over 
the  bulwarks  of  an  emigrant  ship  to  seek  subsistence  in  the 
colonies,  he  came  unheralded.  His  was  no  well-filled  purse. 
He  had  no  letters  of  introduction  to  men  of  wealth  or 
influence.  He  bowed  at  no  man's  door  for  preferment. 
But  thoufifh  his  wealth  did  not  consist  in  current  coin  of  the 
realm,  yet  he  was  net  poor.     He  had  a  trade  ;  he  had  health  ; 


I 


4 


I 


■A 

'I 


^ 


I 


IXTIiODUCTlOy. 


11 


he  had  self-reliance ;  he  had  energy ;  he  had  character ;  and 
with  such  possessions  who  would  call  him  poor  ?  Without 
waiting  for  anybody  to  take  him  by  the  hand,  he  applied  him- 
self to  his  tiude.  What  he  thought  of  his  new  home  at  that 
time,  no  one  can  now  tell.  It  may  be  he  often  longed  for  his 
native  hills — for  the  dreamy  twilight  of  the  sunnner  months — 
for  a  sight  of  his  Scottish  home — for  his  friends.  Or  it  may 
be,  that  he  saw  the  great  possibilities  of  the  land  of  his  adoption, 
although  still  held  by  nature  in  its  rugged  grasp.  Whatever 
may  have  been  his  thouglits,  certain  it  is,  he  was  no  laggard. 
"  Whatsoever  his  hand  found  to  do,  he  did  it  Avitli  his  might," 
unobtrusively  and  unostentatiously.  For  nearly  twenty  years 
after  liis  arrival  in  this  country,  he  was,  in  the  strictest  sense  of 
the  term,  a  working-man — all  honour  to  him.  But,  while  toiling 
with  his  hands,  his  mind  was  active.  He  combined  with  the 
dignity  of  labour,  the  thoughtfulness  of  the  student.  He  felt 
he  was  a  citizen,  not  an  alien,  and  that  as  such  his  country  had 
claims  upon  him. 

The  questions  engaging  public  attention  were  peculiarly 
congenial  to  a  man  of  his  temperament.  Upper  Canada,  which 
contained  the  great  bulk  of  the  English-speaking  population, 
had  just  been  united  to  Lower  Canada  as  a  counterpoise  to  the 
influence  of  the  French  race.  Responsible  government,  the  great 
balance-wheel  of  the  British  constitution,  was  on  its  trial,  and, 
in  spite  of  partisan  governors  and  cabinets,  promised  well.  The 
commercial  growth  of  the  country  sought  freer  channels  with 
the  United  States  in  the  Reciprocity  Treaty  of  1854.  Reli- 
gious liberty  and  e(|uality  were  clamouring  ior  the  seculariza- 
tion of  the  clergy  reserves  and  the  abolition  of  rectories. 
The  advocates  of  a  broader  education  were  appealing  for  the 
estalilishment  of  free  school.'.  Great  issues  were  before  the 
country — issues  which,  to  Mr.  Mackenzie,  were  fraught  with 


s 


12 


INTRODUCTION. 


ii 
(I 


momentous  results,  and  which,  no  doubt,  gave  the  direction  to 
his  political  career.  As  a  Nonconformist  in  Scotland,  knowing 
and  feeling  the  disabilities  ander  which  Nonconformists 
laboured,  not  only  in  the  United  Kingdom,  but  in  every  colony 
of  the  Empire,  he  could,  without  reserve,  take  up  the  policy  of 
the  Liberal  party  on  that  question. 

His  great  leader,  Mr.  Brown,  had  said  in  1851 :  "  By  means 
"  of  Church  Endowments,  church  has  been  set  against  church, 
"family  against  family,  sectarian  hatred  has  been  fostered, 
"  religion  has  been  brought  into  contempt  by  the  scramble  for 
"  public  plunder,  and  infidelity  has  been  in  no  small  degree 
"  promoted  by  the  sight  of  men  preaching  one  day  the  worth- 
"  lessness  of  lucre,  and  battling  on  the  next  to  clutch  a  little  of 
"  that  same  commodity,  though  gained  by  the  grossest  partiality 
"  and  injustice — and  all  this  to  serve  the  cause  of  religion." 

With  these  sentiments  he  heartily  coincided.  To  light  the 
battles  of  the  Liberal  party,  then,  was  simply  to  express  his 
own  convictions.  And  every  one  who  heard  him  speak  in 
those  days  felt  that  he  was  not  the  mere  champion  of  liberal- 
ism, but  an  embodiment  of  liberalism  itself. 

Long  before  Mr.  Mackenzie  entered  Parliament,  his  ability 
as  a  debater  was  recognized  by  all  who  knew  him.  His  stun- 
ning blows  and  corrosive  humour  were  felt  and  feared  by  every 
antagonist  With  a  courage  that  never  quailed,  with  a  logic 
J18  inexorable  as  one  of  Euclid's  demonstrations,  and  in  lan- 
guage, simple,  exact  and  forcible,  none  the  less  effective  be- 
cause of  its  Scottish  accent,  he  would  tear  into  tatters  the 
arguments  of  the  enemy.  The  interruptions  of  his  opponents 
but  assisted  in  their  discomfiture,  for  he  was  a  master  at 
repartee,  and  no  one  ever  crossed  swords  with  him  without 
realizing  that  he  had  a  foeman  worthy  of  his  steel. 

But  these  were  only  the  training  days  of  the  young  athlete; 


f 


IXTliODUCTlOX. 


13 


le 
its 
at 
»ut 

•>  • 


he  had  not  reached  the  maturity  of  his  pcwer,  although  he 
entered  Parliament  in  his  thirty-ninth  year.  The  great  de- 
mand upon  his  time  and  pliysical  strength  by  his  vocation 
made  it  impossible  for  him  to  give  much  time  to  public 
matters.  Hi",  whole  attention  was  now,  however,  at  least  for 
a  considerable  portion  of  the  year,  to  be  given  to  politics.  He 
was  brought  face  to  face  with  men  who  directed  the  public 
opinion  of  the  day.  He  had  a  parliamentary  library  at  his  elbow, 
and  it  remained  to  be  seen  whether  tue  platform  champion  of 
tlie  rural  school-house  and  the  dimly-lighted  town-hall  would 
hold  his  own  with  the  Ruperts  ")f  parliamentary  debate.  His 
friends  had  not  long  to  wait.  Modestly,  but  with  an  unaf- 
fected consciousness  of  power,  he  took  part  in  the  debates ; 
and  parliament,  with  its  traditional  consideration  for  young 
members,  heard  him  with  respect. 

His  advancement  was  unusually  rapid.  In  18G4,  he  was 
an  active  member  of  the  party  caucus.  In  18G5,  lie  was 
asked  by  Sir  John  Macdonald  to  join  his  Government.  In 
LSG7,  he  was  the  acknowledged  leader  of  the  Liberal  party. 
And,  in  IS?.*],  just  eleven  years  after  first  subscribing  to  the 
roll  as  a  member  of  parliament,  he  was  Premier  of  Canada. 
Few  men,  even  with  the  assistance  of  wealth  and  social  posi- 
tion, can  furnish  such  a  record.     Of  him  it  may  be  truly  said : 

"  We  build  the  ladder  by  wliich  we  rise 
From  the  lowlj'  eartli  to  tlio  vaulted  skies, 
And  we  mount  to  the  summit  round  by  round." 

The  writers  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  l)iography  have  sought  to 
show  the  public  what  manner  of  man  he  was,  by  simply  stating 
how  ho  conducted  himself  in  the  various  positions  in  which  he 
was  place<l.  His  career  from  the  time  he  enten^d  parliament 
until  he  ceased  to  be  the  leader  of  his  party  in  1881  supplies  a 


14 


INTIIODUCTIOX. 


sufficient  test  of  every  quality  of  head  and  heart  which  our 
readers  can  have  any  desire  to  know. 

As  a  private  member  of  parhament  he  was  attentive  to  his 
constituents,  considerate  towards  his  friends,  and  manly  and 
frank  with  his  opponents.  He  sought  political  support  be- 
cause of  the  principles  which  he  represented.  He  paid  no  man 
for  his  franchise.  He  was  under  personal  obligations  to  no 
man  for  his  vote.  , 

As  a  representative  on  the  floor  of  parliament,  iiO  one  could 
have  served  his  constituents  better.  While  he  regarded 
himself  as  the  representative  of  the  whole  country,  and  not  as 
a  delegate  from  any  section,  the  records  of  parliament  show 
how  attentive  he  was  to  ail  matters  of  local  interest.  Few 
members  of  parliament  were  more  constant  in  their  attend- 
ance in  the  House,  and  few  did  more  connnittee  work. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  relations  with  his  fellow  members  were 
generally  cordial :  although  pugnacious,  he  was  not  quarrel- 
some, and  seldom,  if  ever,  struck  the  first  blow.  He  acted  on 
the  advice  given  by  Polonius  to  Laertes,  liis  son : 

"  Beware 
Of  entrance  to  a  quarrel ;  but,  being  in, 
Bear't  that  the  opposed  may  beware  of  thee." 

In  some  of  these  encounters  it  happened  that  blows  were 
struck,  the  stinging  effect  of  which  was  felt  for  a  few  days. 
He  never  allowed,  however,  the  combats  of  the  platform  to 
degenerate  into  u  personal  feud  with  an  opponent.  Even  in 
his  bitterest  attacks  tiiere  was  no  malice.  It  was  apparent 
that  his  object  was  a  public,  not  a  personal  one.  "  To  strike 
below  the  waistcoat,"  to  use  Lord  Dulleriu's  expression,  was 
a  thing  ho  despised. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  was  apt  in  lib'rary  (juotation,  and  exceed- 
ingly well  read.     Tlie  religious  discussions  of  his  early  days 


i 

'^        1 

( 

%        ' 

1 

I 

I 

I 


1 


■}. 


INTRODUCTIOX. 


15 


I 


liiys 


in  Scotland  led  to  much  theoloffical  reading  on  his  part,  and 
few  men  were  better  informed  as  to  the  difi'erences  which 
divided  tne  various  Protestant  denominations  of  Great  Britain 
and  Canada. 

In  the  political  history  of  the  British  Empire  he  was  also 
well-informed,  and  could  refer  with  great  readiness  to  the 
different  administrations  of  the  present  century,  and  to  the 
views  and  sentiments  of  the  great  leaders  of  political  thought. 

His  cast  of  mind  was  eminently  logical.  He  would  have 
made  his  mark,  had  he  been  trained  for  that  purpose,  as  a 
professor  of  logic,  even  in  a  Scotch  university.  His  readiness 
to  detect  a  flaw  in  an  opponent's  argument  was  almost  pheno- 
menal, and  his  skill  in  pointing  out  the  inconsistencies  and  in- 
compatibilities of  the  positions  taken  during  a  debate  was  one 
of  the  sources  of  his  great  .strength.  No  member  of  parlia- 
ment since  the  Hon.  Geo.  Browa's  time  was  more  effective  in 
tlie  use  of  the  tu  quoque  form  of  argument  than  Mr.  Macken- 
zie. An  opponent  might  consider  himself  fortunate  if  he 
escaped  being  confronted  with  his  previous  record,  on  any 
question  in  which  he  had  been  in  the  slightest  degree  incon- 
sistent. 

In  the  arrangement  of  a  speech,  the  same  logical  power 
which  shattered  an  enemy's  argument  was  exercised.  His 
conunon  expression,  "  and  more  than  that,"  would  show  almost 
as  on  profile  the  steps  by  which  he  proposed  to  lead  his  hear- 
ers to  a  climax.  "With  him,  the  less  important  invariably  pre- 
ceded the  more  important,  and  his  conclusion,  like  the  key  o£ 
the  arch,  fastened  the  whole  structure. 

As  a  speaker,  Mr.  Mackenzie,  if  not  fluent,  as  that  qiiality 
in  speaking  is  ordinarily  understood,  had  no  diliiculty  in 
flnding  the  right  word  by  which  to  express  his  thoughts, 
and  he   always  spoke    with   apparent   deliberation.      Indeed 


16 


IXTliCDUCTION. 


SO  accurate  and  deliberate  were  his  speeches,  tliat  ho  was 
one  of  the  few  parliamentarians  of  the  day  who  could  with 
credit  be  reported  verbatim.  In  the  destructive  rattle  of  his 
artillery  he  had  no  superior  in  the  House  of  Commons. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  ]-)Ower  over  an  audience  was  very  prreat. 
His  intensity  and  earnestness  at  once  ri vetted  attention,  and 
his  distinct  enunciation  made  it  easy  to  follow  him.  He  was 
never  vociferous,  even  under  excitement,  and  never  impatient 
under  criticism.  If  asked  a  question  or  interrupted,  his 
answer  came  instantaneously,  and  one  answer  was  generally 
sufficient  for  most  questioners. 

His  Scottish  humor  gave  him  grea ,  power.  It  was  often 
sarcastic — for  his  own  sake,  perhaps  too  often  so.  When 
turned  against  an  opponent  with  all  the  force  with  which  he 
could  command  it,  it  was  destructive  as  a  live  electric  wire. 
When  playful,  it  was  as  amusing  as  a  chapter  from  Dean 
Ramsay. 

In  conducting  election  campaigns,  although  Mr.  Mackenzie 
had  a  great  deal  of  confidence  in  the  press  and  the  platform, 
he  had  still  greater  confidence  in  organization.  His  experi- 
ence in  this  respect,  as  secretary  of  the  Hon.  Geo.  Brown's 
committee,  before  he  entered  public  life,  and  his  subsequent 
experience  in  his  own  elections,  impressed  him  with  the  im- 
portance of  this  kind  of  work.  In  writing  to  a  friend  in  1873 
he  says :  "  I  am  sure  that  a  close  organization  and  canvass  are 
of  infinitely  more  impoi-tance  than  meetings.  Meetings  do 
not  accomplish  much  com])ared  with  canvassing  and  organiz- 
ing, and  a  resolute  eflbrt  to  have  every  man  out  on  poUitig 
day."  .  •■ 

When  meetings  were  held,  however,  likeTlufus  Clioate  with 
tb.e  jury,  he  was  bound  that  they  should  bo  carried  in  his 
favor.     The    moral   efiect  upon  his  opponents  of  a  complete 


^ 


IXmODCCTIOX. 


17 


rout  upon  the  piriform  he  valued  very  highly.  It  is  safe  to 
say  tliat  his  large;  majority  in  18(j7  was  owing  as  much  to  the 
Hon.  Wm.  iMacDougall's  weakness  in  his  hands  as  to  party 
organization. 

As  leader  oi"  his  party  in  Opposition,  Mr.  Mackenzie  was 
courageous  and  aggressi\e.  Whenever  he  took  a  position  on 
any  question,  he  was  prepared  to  defend  it  with  all  liis  force. 
He  took  no  pleasure  in  expediency.  What  he  advocated  was 
right,  because  it  was  right,  and  not  simply  expedient ;  aiRl 
when  a  certain  course  was  determined  upon,  he  turned  neither 
to  the  right  hand  nor  to  the  left,  no  matter  what  obstacles  lay 
in  the  way.  He  never  studied.  a[)parently,  the  modern 
nietliods  of  "wire  pulling"'  and  '"pipe-laying,"  which  are  so 
much  depended  upon  in  ]iarty  warfare.  How  to  evade  an 
issue  or  how  to  appear  to  be  suppoiting  a  movement,  \\  liiK-  he 
was  in  reality  t>])])osing  it  or  how  to  lead  two  opposing  fac- 
tions to  believe  that  he  .sj-mpathizeil  with  each  and  oppo.sed 
the  other,  was  a  political  aeeomplishnu'nt  which  he  nexer 
studied.  It'  he  moved  a  resolution,  it  was  so  worded  as  to 
mean  what  it  said  ;  and  if  In;  made  a  speech,  it  was  so  ex- 
pressed as  to  be  incapable  of  two  intei'pretations.  Had  he 
brcn  less  straightforward,  he  might  liave  cocpietted  with  the 
Nova  Scotians  in  LS70,  or  with  Alanitoba  in  1871,  or  with 
(^^uebec  during  the  Riel  agitation. 

'I'o  lKi\e  maintained  tlui  contidence  of  the  Liberal  party  as 
acting  leader  from  1807  to  1873.  in  the  presence  t)f  many  other 
distinguished  men,  was,  in  itself,  a  givat  achievement.  It  may 
be  fairly  assumed  that  men  like  Holton  and  Dorion  would  not 
have  followed  any  leader  of  inferior  ability. 

Turning  to  him  next,  as  Premier,  there  is  nmch  in  his  char- 
acter to  admire.  His  transfer  from  one  side  of  the  Hou.se  to 
the  other  made  no  change  in  his  manner.     The  First  JNIiin'ster 


jr 


18 


ixri:oi)UCTiox. 


of  Canada  directing  the  leo-islation  of  one  of  Eno-land's  greatest 
colonies  was  quite  as  unpretentious  as  the  man  who  yester- 
day was  the  leader  of  Her  Majesty's  loyal  Opposition. 

In  his  new  position  hi.s  I'esponsibilities  were  increased. 
Leadership  now  involved  nuich  more  than  managing  and  di- 
recting party  warfare.  He  had  not  only  to  keep  his  party  in 
hand,  but  he  had  to  maintain  tlie  dignity  iuid  honor  of  par- 
liament. His  voice  was  the  most  potent  voice  in  British 
North  America.  How  to  use  the  power  with  which  he  was 
invested,  to  win  the  confidence  and  respect  of  the  people  of 
Canada,  was  the  problem  before  him. 

The  leader  of  a  Government  recjuires  to  be  a  man  of  great 
decision  of  cliaracter,  firmness,  resource,  good  temper,  and 
above  all,  of  patience.  The  latter  ([uality  was  said  by  the 
younger  Pitt  to  supersede,  in  importance,  all  other  (jualities  of 
a  leader.  To  occupy  the  time  of  the  House  in  protracted 
discussions,  which  could  serve  no  useful  purpose,  was  doubt- 
less annoying  to  a  man,  every  moment  of  whose  time  was 
more  than  fully  occupied.  And  yet,  experience  shows  that  to 
resist  the  disposition  of  members  of  parliament  to  continue  a 
debate,  prolongs  ratlier  than  shortens  it.  An  Opposition  is 
apt  to  do  the  very  thing  that  is  distasteful  to  the  Govern- 
ment. 

Though  not  open  to  the  charge  of  impatience,  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie sometimes  failed  in  answering  questions  put  to  him  by 
opponents  in  a  conciliatory  s]>irit.  "J^lie  soft  answer  which 
turns  away  wrath  was  not  always  at  hand,  and  instead  of 
it  was  used,  sometimes  to  his  own  disadvantage,  the  sar- 
CJism  which  sears  and  scorches  and  provokes  to  enmity  and 
retaliation. 

To  badger  atid  banter  a  Government  is  the  peculiar  privilege 
of  an  Opposition.     The  Opposition  who  confronted   Mr.  Mac- 


IXTRODUCriON. 


19 


kenzio  were  possessed  )l"  lar^e  powers  in  this  direction.  Their 
leader,  Sir  John  Mucdonald,  was  an  adept  at  parliamentary 
fence,  and  knowing,  as  he  did,  the  position  of  every  public 
question  wiien  the  Government  came  into  power,  he  was  able 
from  year  to  year,  to  catechize  the  Government  fully  as  to 
the  different  phases  which  such  questions  assumed.  There 
were  other  members  of  the  Opposition  who  had  made  a  study 
of  the  details  of  each  department  of  the  public  service,  and 
who  were  most  irritating,  and  \QYy  often  unreasonable,  in  their 
criticisms.  That  human  nature  would  occasionally  resent  such 
attacks,  was  not  to  l^e  wondered  at,  and  if  Mr.  Mackenzie  threw 
liin)self  with  all  his  force  upon  some  troublesome  Opposition- 
ists, he  might  very  well  be  excused. 

Notwithstanding  these  circumstances,  Mr.  Mackenzie's  lead- 
ership was  dignified  and  judicial.  The  views  of  the  Govern- 
ment he  always  presented  with  frankness;  and  where  the 
honor  of  parliament,  or  any  great  national  interest,  was  at 
stake,  his  manner  plainly  indicated  the  noble  instincts  of  his 
nature,  fie  never  lowered  the  tone  of  the  debate  l)y  act  or 
speech;  nor,  so  far  as  he  could  prevent  it,  did  he  allow  j)urlia- 
ment  to  degenerate  into  a  niob. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  strongly  believed  that  it  was  greatly  to  the 
ailvantage  of  Canada  to  continue  her  present  connection  witli 
the  Empire.  iSo  long  as  the  colonial  office  did  not  wantonly 
interfere  in  our  domestic  atlairs,  we  had,  in  his  opinion,  all 
the  advantages  practically  of  self-government,  and,  in  addi- 
tion, the  prestige  of  sharing  in  the  honor  and  dignity  of  the 
British  Empire.  Tlie  independence  of  Canada,  even  in  the 
remote  future,  was  a  possibility  which  he  seems  never  to 
have  entertained  ;  while  annexation  to  the  United  States  in- 
volved such  considerations  of  national  weakness  and  faint- 
heartedness OS  to  be  unwortliy  of  a  moment's  consideration. 


20 


INTRODUCriOX. 


"  The  fierce  li^ht  that  beats  upon  the  throne  "  allows  no  dis- 
tinction to  be  drawn  between  the  private  life  of  a  First  Minister 
and  his  public  presence  under  the  arous  eye  of  the  Press. 
The  duty  of  dispensinor  hospitality,  as  became  the  First  Minis- 
ter, was  discharged  with  a  liberality  which  left  nothing  to  be 
desired.  As  a  host,  lie  was  entertaining  and  agreeable,  and 
no  one  left  his  table  without  pleasant  recollections  of  his  cour- 
tesy and  his  attention. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  biography,  which  is  in  perspective  a  his- 
tory of  the  Liberal  party  during  the  last  thirty  years,  con- 
tains much  to  inspire  and  encourage  the  Young  Liberals  of 
Canada.  Though  not  a  Gladstone  or  a  Pitt,  or  perliaj^s  not  in 
all  respects  equal  to  Mr.  Brown,  he  was  nevertheless  a  Can- 
adian who.se  services  to  his  country  should  not  be  forgotten. 
"  To  break  his  birth's  invidious  bar,  and  breast  the  blows  of 
circumstance,"  and  to  advance  step  by  step  until  by  the  favor 
of  his  countrymen  he  became  First  Minister  of  the  State, 
represent  qualities,  in  his  case  particularly,  worthy  of  imita- 
tion. He  who  wears  the  white  flower  of  a  blameless  life 
through  all  the  vicissitudes  of  time  and  place,  he  who  listens 
to  the  voice  of  conscience  in  the  midst  of  temptations,  and 
pursues  the  path  of  honor  with  heroic  self-denial  in  the  dis- 
charge of  every  public  duty,  is  too  valuable  a  representative 
of  the  better  elements  of  Canadian  politics  to  be  allowed  to 
pass  from    memory  with   the  procession  which  bears  him  to 


his  grave. 


THK  AUTHORS. 


'% 


i 


August  3lKt,  1S!>2. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  I. 


PAGE   33 


ALEXANDER   ISIACKENZIE  S    YOUTH. 

Record  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  Birth — His  Paternal  Ancestry — His  Futlicr  s  Loss 
of  Fortune — "  Peregrinities  " — Tlie  Memorial  Tablet — The  Mother's  Familj' 
— Tiie  Parents'  Emlowmeats — ^Ir.  Mackenzie's  Birtiiplace — His  "Scliool- 
ing  " — Tlie  OKI  Clockmaker  Schoolmaster — His  Hard  Necessity — He  Learns 
a  'i'rade. 

CHAPTER   II.  PAGE  51 

HIS   ARRIVAL   IN   CANADA. 


Aspirations  not  Realised — Hugh  Miller's  Case  Exemplified  —  Journeyman 
Stonecutter  Before  the  Age  of  Twenty — Works  and  Muses  in  the  Land  of 
Burns — Beginning  of  His  Religious  Life  -Becomes  Attaclied  to  Helen  Neil 
— Emigration  to  Canada — His  Deportment  on  the  Voyage  —  Love  for  the 
Old  Songs — Arrival  in  Kingston — A  Scottish  Scene  of  '43. 


CHAPTER  III. 


PAGE   Gl 


TWENTY   YEARS   OF   EXCITEMENT. 

Political  and  Historical  Sketch — From  las  arrival  in  1842  to  entering  Parlia- 
ment in  18G1 — Tiie  U.  E.  Loyalists— The  Clergy  Reserves— Louis  J.  Papin- 
eau  and  Wni.  Lyon  Mackenzie — Robert  (Jourlay — Baiiiabas  Bidvvell — The 
Rebellion — Baldwin,  Draper,  Morin,  Lafontaine — Sir  Ciiarles  Metcalfe — 
Hazy  Notions  of  Responsible  Clovernment — Lord  Elgin — The  Rel)elliou 
Losses — Tlie  Covcrnor-fJeneral  Mobbed — Sacking  and  Burning  of  the  Par- 
liament Buildings— tJeorge  Brown^Dr.  Rolph  and  Malcolm  Cameron — 
Francis  Hincks — John  A.  Maodonald— Tiio  Seigniorial  Tenure — Representa- 
tion by  Popiihition — 'fhe  Double  Majority — Rapid  (irowth  of  Upper  Canada 
— "  French  Donunatioii." 


s 


^ 


ili 


COXTEXTS. 

CHAPTER  IV. 

LIFE    IX   AND   ABOUT   KIXGSi'OX. 


PAGE   84 


Mr.  Mackenzie's  Contemporaries — Sketch  of  Mr.  Ceo.  Brown — His  Relations 
to  Mr.  Mackenzie — Characteristics  of  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald — Mr.  Holton's 
Estimate  of  Sir  Oliver  Mowat — The  Young  Stonecutter  meets  his  Match, 
but  is  not  Overcome  by  it — His  Letter  from  Kingston  to  Scotland — Plod- 
ding in  tlie  Forests  of  the  Far  West — "  Home,  Sweet  Home" — Cheated  out 
of  his  Wages — Goes  on  the  Land — A  Friend  in  Need— His  Associates  and 
Surroundings — His  Brother  Joins  Him. 


CHAPTER  V. 


SETTLES   IX   SARXIA. 


PAGE   99 


Rises  in  his  Position— Suffers  for  his  Opinions— Goes  to  the  Beauharnois 
Canal — An  I''meute  there— A  Painful  Accident — Removes  to  the  Welland 
Canal — Returns  to  Kingston — Is  Married  there — Builds  the  Defences  of 
Canada — Foreman  on  the  Canal  Basin,  Montreal — Settles  in  1847  in  Sarnia 
— Joined  in  Sarnia  by  the  other  Brothers  and  their  Mother — Death  of  his 
First  Wife. 

CHAPTER  VI.  PAGE  107 

THE   WESTEUX    DISTRICT. 

Politics  and  Men  in  the  Western  District  in  the  Early  Days — Clear  Grits — 
(jeorge  Brown  to  the  Rescue — His  Letters  to  Alexander  Mackenzie — The 
"  Brownies  " — Ancient  Sectarian  Issues— The  "Old  Ladies" — Mr.  Mackenzie 
as  Editor — A  Rival  Paper — A  Great  Liljcl  Suit— Valedictory — Fine  Letter 
from  Wm.  Lyon  Mackenzie — Growing  Political  Influence — Friends  Once 
More — Meets  "Leonidas." 


CPIAPTER  VII. 


THE   BROWX-DORION   GOVERXMENT. 


p.\f;K  \-l:\ 


The  General  Election  of  1857— More  Brown  Letters — Hope  Mackenzie — "Lamb- 
ton  Bricks  " — Alexander  Mackenzie's  Second  Marriage— Where  He  Wor- 
shipped— The  "Double  Shulile" — George  P)rown's Colleagues — Their  Policy — 
Precedents  for  a  Dissolution — Alex,  ^lackenzie  as  an  Essayist — Advocacy  by 
the  Liberals  of  a  Federal  Union. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

MR.   MACKENZIE'S   FIRST   ELECTIOX. 


PAGE   138 


Dissolution  of  Parliament  and  General  Election — Return  of  Mr.   Mackenzie 
for  Lambton— Ministry  Sustained — Defeat  of  tlie  Hon.  Geo.    Brown— Mr. 


t 


CONTENTS. 


28 


Mackenzie's  First  Appearance   in  Parliament — Defeat  of  the  Government 
on  the  Militia  Bill. 


CHAPTER  IX. 


PAGE    147 


A    LIBERAL   GOVERNMENT. 

The  Macdonald-Sicotte  Administration — Debate  on  Representation  by  Popu- 
lation—The Separate  School  Law — Return  of  Mr.  Brown  for  Oxford — 
Tlie  Double  Majority  Principle — Reconstruction  of  the  Cabinet — Hon. 
Oliver  Mowat,  Postmaster-General. 


CHAPTER  X. 


PAGE    157 


WEAKXES.S   OF   SANDFIELD   MACDONALD  S   ADMINISTRATION, 

(icneral  Election— Mr.  VVallbridge,  Speaker^Xarrow  Majority  of  tlie  Govern- 
ment— Losses  in  By-Elections — The  Government  Unable  to  Proceed — Re- 
signed Otllce  21st  March,  1804 — Formation  of  the  Tach^-Macdonald  Adminis- 
tration— Promises  of  the  New  Government — Committee  on  Representation. 


CHAPTER   XI. 


PAGE    1G5 


POLITICAL   DEAD-LOCK. 


Political  Dead-Lock — Hon.  Mr.  Brown's  otler  of  Assistance — Report  of  the 
Committee  on  the  Federation  of  the  Provinces— Formation  of  a  Coalition — 
Mr.  Mackenzie's  Attitude  on  this  Question — The  Policy  of  the  New  Cabinet. 


CHAPTER  XII. 


PAGE    173 


CONFEDERATION    IN   SIGHT. 


Confederation  of  the  Maritime  Provinces  to  be  Considered  —Delegates  Called  to 
Meet  at  Ciuirlottetown,  Prince  Edward  Island,  in  September — Representa- 
tives of  the  (iovcrnment  in  Attendtmco — Quebec  Conference — Developniont 
of  the  .Scheme — Draft  Agreed  upon — Cabinet  Ciianges — Mr.  Mackenzie  in 
Favor  of  Confederation. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 


PAGE  ISO 


THE  CONFEDERATION  DEBATES. 


'.10 

r. 


Ses.siou  of  ISOi) — Discussion  of  the  .Scheme  of  t'onfeileration — Opposition  from 
Quebec — Mr.  Mackenzie's  .Share  in  the  Discussion — Delegation  to  England — 
Sliort  Session  of  Parliament — Final  Adoption  of  the  Quebec  Resolution.s. 


24 


CONTEXTS. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 


PAGE  190 


JIU.    BIIOWN    RETIRES   FR05I   THE   COAI.niOX. 

Death  of  Sir  E.  P.  Tnch6 — Mr.  Browirs  Objections  to  Mr.  Alacdonakl  as  Pre- 
mier— Last  Parliament  in  Quebec — Report  of  the  Delegates  to  England — 
reeling  in  the  Maritime  Pio%inoes — Mr.  Brown's  Retirement  from  the  Gov- 
ernment— Abolition  of  the  Reciprocity  Treaty  of  '57 — The  last  Session  of 
the  old  Parliament  of  Canada. 


CHAPTER    XVI. 


PAGE   "212 


cox  FEDERATION    APPROVED    BY   THE    HOUSE   OF   (  OM.MONS. 

Troubles  in  the  Maritime  Provinces — Delegation  to  England — Amendment  to 
the  Quebec  Resolutions — The  Education  Clause — Additional  Subsidies  to 
Nova  Scotia — The  Royal  Proclamation — The  Father  of  Confederation  — 
Claims  of  Mr.  Brown  to  this  Honor. 


CPIAPTER  XVII. 


PAGE    218 


THE   NEW    DOMINION. 


;i 


Formation  of  tlie  First  Government— Another  Coalition — Great  Reform  Con- 
vention in  Toronto — MacDougalls  and  Hollands  Defence — Speech  i)y  Mr. 
Mackenzie — Position  of  tlie  Liberal  Parly — Mr.  Mackenzie's  Campaign  in 
Lambton — Contests  with  Mr.  MacDougall — Results  of  the  Election. 


CHAPTER  XV III. 


PAGE   232 


MEETING   OF   THE    FIRST    PARLIAMENT   OF   CANADA. 


Mr.  Josepii  Howe  and  Confederation — The  North-West  'i'erritories — Intercol- 
onial Railway — Retirement  of  Mr.  Gait — 'J'he  Country  to  be  Fortified — 
Assassinatic.n  of  Mr.  McCice — Conservative  Tendencies  of  the  Government. 


CHAPTER  XV. 


PAGE   201 


MR.    MACKENZIE   OFFERED    A   SEAT    IN    THE   GOVERNMENT. 

Mr.  MacDc.ugaH's  Trip  to  the  Indies — Mr.  Gait's  Financial  Policy — Constitu- 
tion of  tlie  Provinces — Retirement  of  Mr.  Gait — Confidence  Weakened  in 
the  Coalition. 


t 


COXTKXTS. 


25 


CHAPTER  XIX. 


PAGE   244. 


POLICY   OF  THE  LIBERALS   ASSERTED. 

Independence  of  rarliament — (ioveruorGenerals  S.ilary — Reciprocity  with 
ihe  United  States — "  Better  Terms"  witli  Nova  Scotia — Mr.  Howe  enters 
the  Government — Changes  in  the  Cabinet — Mr.  Mackenzie  as  Leader. 


CHAPTER  XX. 


PAGE    255 


RE15ELLI0X    IN   THE    XORTH-WEST. 

Customs  Union^ — Commercial  Treaties — Speech  Ijy  Mr.  ^lacken/io— Reljellion 
in  Manitoba — Ahmn  of  the  Settlers— MacDoiigall  Refused  Admission — Kiel, 
President — Murder  of  Scott — Debates  in  Parliament — Expedition  under 
Wolseley — Air.  Archibald  Appointed  Lieutendut-Governor — Reward  Ofleied 
by  Ontario  Government — Trial  of  Le[iinc — Discussion  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons— Amnesty  Granted — Lord  Dutl'erin's  Action. 


CHAPTER  XXI. 


PAGE  278 


RELATIONS   \\'ri'li    THE    I'NITED   STATES. 

I'isliery  Claims — Sir  John  Macdonald  at  Washington — Tl\e  Washington 
Treaty — Concessions  to  the  United  States — The  Fenian  and  .\labama  Claims 
— The  Manitoba  Bill — British  Columbia  Ei.ters  Confederation. 


CHAPTER  XXII. 


PAGE   2S6 


MR.    .MACKENZIE    AND    PROVINCAL    POLITICS. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  Elected  for  West  Middlesex  ^ — Defeat  of  the  Sandfield 
Macdonald  Administration^ — Mackenzie  a  Member  of  the  New  (iovernmcnt 
— His  Position  in  Local  Politics-Speech  as  Provincial  Treasurer — Dual 
Representation  Abolished— His  Ciioice  of  tiie  Comnuuis. 


CHAPTER  XXIII. 


PAGE   80S 


THE   CANADIAN    PACIFIC   RAILWAY. 


v# 


Conditions  for  Constructing  the  Canadian  IV.cific  Railway — Debate  in  Parlia- 
ment—lUirdcns  Involved — New  Rruuswick  .Sciiool  IJill — Rights  of  tiie  Min- 
ority— Mr.  Mackenzie's  Attitude — First  (icrrynuuidcr. 


20 


CONTEXTS. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 


PAGE   319 


DOWNFALL   OF   THE   GOVERNMENT. 

General  Election  of  187'2 — Issues  Before  the  Country — Sir  John  Meets  Mac- 
kenzie at  Sarnia — Appointment  of  a  Leader — Selection  of  Mr.  Mackenzie — 
Interesting  Letter  to  his  Brother — Irregular  Elections — The  Pacific  Scandal 
— Huntington's  Cliarges — Appointment  of  a  Committee — Sir  John  Mac- 
donald's  Evasions — The  Oaths  Bill — Prorogation  Amidst  Great  Excitement 
— Meeting  of  Liberals  in  Railway  Committee  Room — Memorial  to  the  Gover- 
nor-General— Appointment  of  a  Commission — Meeting  of  Parliament — 
Speeches  by  the  Opposition  Leaders — Resignation  of  the  Government. 


CHAPTER  XXV. 


PAGE   353 


THE   NEW   ADMINISTRATION. 

Tlie  Xew  Cabinet — Dissolution  of  the  House — Address  to  the  Electors  of 
Lambton — Meeting  of  Parliament — Mr.  Mackenzie's  Dillicullies— Discontent 
of  British  Columbia — The  Carnarvon  Terms — Visit  of  Lord  Dullerin  — 
Brilliant  Speech  at  Victoria — Irritation  Allayed — Xew  Reciprocity  Treaty 
Considered — Honorable  George  Brown  at  \Vashington — Treaty  Agreed  upon 
Rejected  by  the  Senate — Mr.  Macken/ip's  TiOvalty  to  Canada — Mi'. 
Cartwright'a  First  Budget  Speech — New  Taritl"  IJill — Pacific  Railway  Bill  — 
Mr.  Mackenzie's  Military  Career — Military  College — New  Election  Bill. 


CHAPTER  XXVI. 


PAGE  38(3 


THE   SESSION    OF   1875. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  Plan  for  Preserving  the  Debates  of  the  House— Tlie  Supreme 
Co\iit  Act — The  Constitution  of  the  Senate — Prohibition  Discussed — Tiio 
Canada  Temperance  Act — Mr.  Mackenzie  visits  the  Eastern  Provinces — 
Mr.  iin)\\n  declines  tlie  Liouteiiaiit-(iovornorship  of  Ontario — 'J'iie  Office 
Accepted  by  Mr.  D.  A.  Mat-donald. 


CHAl'TER  XXVII. 


PAGE  403 


VISIT  TO  SCOTLAND  IN  1875. 


On  a  Holiday — A  Guest  at  Windsor — Invitation  to  Perth — Impressions  of 
England—"  Hodge  "' — The  British  Commons— Spurgeon — Farrar — Freedom 
of  Duiulce — Address  to  tiie  \\^)rkingmen — Freedom  of  Perth— Address  at 
Dunkeld— Tiie  "Home-Coming"  atLogiera.lt — Freedom  of  Irvine — Aldrcsa 
at  Greenock — Tlie  Clyde— The  Theology — Lord  DuU'erin's  Tribute  to  hia 
First   Minister — George  Brown's  Letter  on  Taste. 


CONTENTS. 


27 


CH.\PTER  XXVIII. 


PAGE   418 


THE    NATIONAL    POLICY    FIRST    DISCUSSED. 

Questions  of  Trade  Occupy  the  House — Industrial  Depression — Committee 
Appointed  for  Investigation — jNlr.  Cartwright" s  Budget  Sp^^ech — Dr.  Tap- 
per's Reply — Tlie  National  Policy — Tiie  Steel  Rail  Transaction — Election  in 
Suulli  Ontario. 

CHAPTER  XXIX.  page  4:U 

AN   IRKSOME   SESSION    OK    PARLIAMENT. 


Changes  in  the  Cabinet  Since  187;J — Their  Effect  Upon  tlie  Government — New 
Appointments  Male — Mr.  Brown  on  Laurier — Extradition — Mr.  Blake's 
Bill — Opening  of  the  House  with  Prayer — Budget  Speech  Again— Protection 
vtrms  Free  Trade — The  Agricultural  Interests  of  the  Country — Tlie  Pacific 
Raihvav — Fort  Francis  Locks — Mr.  Mi  c  icnzie's  Defence— (iodcrich  Harbor' 
— The  Independence  of  Parliament  and  Mr.  Anglin — Mr.  MilL-s  at  Washing- 
ton— Mr.  Mackenzie's  Sympathy — Two  Interesting  Letters, 


CHAPTER  XXX. 


PAGE   4o!J 


ill- 


;5 

8(3 

■ni 

••! 

me 

■^1 

"lie 

^■Vi 

.s  — 

S 

io;i 


LAST   SESSION    IN    POWER. 

Bitlenicss  of  Parties — Sir  John's  Attack  on  Mr.  Anglii; — T'jie  Premier's  Do- 
fence  —Long  and  Acrimonious  Debate  on  the  Address — The  Turning  Point 
of  Depression  Reached — Mr.  Mowat  olTered  a  seat  in  the  Government — The 
Figiiting  (u-ound  for  tlic  Elections  Laid  Out — The  Protective  Policy — The 
Auditor-General — Temperance  Legislation — Another  Stride  Towards  Self- 
Government, 

CHAPTER  XXXI.  ww.v.  474 

GOVERNOR    LETELLIERS   COUP   d'ETAT. 

Tlie  Case  Before  Parliament — Motion  to  Declare  His  Action  "Unwise"  — 
How  the  Premier  Met  it — The  Dominion  Government  nut  Privy  to  the  Pro- 
i.eediiig — Lord  Lome  Assailed — Gov.  Letellier  Dismissed— Address  to  Lord 
DuUerin  -His  Excellency's  Sen.se  of  the  I'remicr's  Kindness— liids  Parlia- 
ment Kiuewell— Government  Policy  on  the  Railway  Legislation  With- 
diawu— Release  from  a  Turbulent  Session. 


of 
om 

at 

resa 

Ilia 


CHAI'TEli  XX.\II. 


DEPE.Vr  OP   THE   GOVERNJIENT. 


PAGE   495 


Royalty  in  Canada— Apprehensions   Unfounded— Preparations  for  the  Con- 
test—Misttake  in  the  Time  Selected — Shouhl  have  been  June— The  Phvsical 


CONTENTS. 


Strain — What  tlie  Government  had  to  Fight  Against— A  Carnival  of  FraiuT 
and  Misrepresentation — Defeat  of  the  Government — The  Protection  Hum- 
bug Illustrated. 


CHAPTER  XXXIII. 


PAGE   514 


now   HE   BOUE    DEFEAT. 


Letter  to  Lord  DulTerin — Tlie  Governor-General's  Reply — His  Excellency's 
Noble  Letter  to  Mrs.  Mackenzie — Letter  from  the  late  Chief  Justice  Rich- 
ards— Mr.  Mackenzie  Addresses  Mr.  Holton — Hatred  of  Intrigue  and 
Crookedness — Would  Rather  go  Down  than  Yield  Principle — A  Clean  Re- 
cord— The  Loss  of  (Jood  and  True  Men— The  Public  Interest  First  and 
Always — "Living  in  Anotiier  Man's  House'' — Nothing  Left  save  Honor — 
8elf-Sacritice — Its  Reward — Disciples  of  Cobden  <lo  not  Temporise — Answers 
to  Letters  of  Reproach — Letter  of  Resignation  and  Defence  of  His  Policy — 
How  He  felt  the  Dismissal  of  His  Former  Secretary — Fun  Aiiead  with  the 
Lcsom  and  the  Stane. 

CHAPTER  XXXIV.  page  537 


Hi 


AGAIX    IN   OPPOSITIOX. 


Rcoides  in  Toronto — Welcomes  the  Change — "Bracing"  Him  Up —Sympa- 
thetic Letter — Parliament  Meets — The  N.  P.  "  Elephant" — Everybody  Pro- 
tected—A  Tariff  of  "  Corners  " — Canada  in  Cast-i)tl'  Clothing — Tlie  Conse- 
quences of  the  Policy — Mr.  Hlake  on  its  Tendency — Sir  Oliver  Mowat  oiv 
Patriotism — Still  a  Rainbow  of  Hope— Mr.  Mackenzie  Resigns  the  Leader- 
ship— Commcnta  Thereupon. 


CHAPTER  XXXV. 


PAGE   551 


THE   Ol'FEHS  OF   A   'I'lTLE. 


Death  of  Mr.  Holton  and  Mr.  iJiowii — Mr.  Browns  Biograpliy — The  Session 
of  lSSO-1 — A  Spice  of  Humor — The  Canadian  Kxodus — More  About  Pro- 
tection—  Mr.  Mackenzie  on  Canadian  Honors-  Bestowal  of  Titles  on  Cliief 
Justices  Richanls  and  Dorion — Mr.  Mackenzie  and  Mr.  Blake  Decline — 
Mr.  Brown's  Declinature  in  1.S74 — Wiiat  Mr.  Holton  Tliought — Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie Declines  a  Second  and  Tliird  Time — Letter  from  Lord  Lome  Ofl'er 
ing  a  Title — Lord  DutTcrin  on  (Canadian  Distinctions. 


CHAPTER  XXXVI. 


PAGE   503 


FlioM    <t(i:.\N    TO   (M'K.W. 

The    Winter  of   ISSfl-l  -  Beginning   of   His   lUness — His  Appearance  in  Hia 
Prime — Wliat  He  Says  Aliont   Himself — Tlie   Canadian  Pacific  Railway— 


-.1 
A. 


CONTEXTS. 


29 


'J"he  Government  Policy— Policy  of  the  Maclvenzie  Government— Offers  of 
tiie  Two  Companies — Mr.  Mackenzie's  Figiit  Against  Monopoly — The  Cou- 
tiact  Carried — How  tlic  Company  Have  Fulfilled  their  Obligations. 


CHAPTER  XXXVII. 


PAGE   573 


GOES   TO    EUROPE. 

His  Opinion  of  Thomas  Carlyle— Starched  Faces — Hus!)and  and  Wife  -Car. 
Ivies  Pliilosophy  :  Wiiat  Is  It? — Goes  to  Europe — Paris- -How  to  Make 
Oneself  Understood  —  In  Switzerland  —  Mountain  Scenery  —  Return  to 
l!ni:laii(l — The  House  of  Commons — Joiin  Brigiit — In  Scotland — The  Frce- 
(limi  of  Inverness — Tlie  Familiar  Scenes — Describes  Kdinbnrgii— Climbing 
Mountains —  Schichallion  "  By  Telescope  " — (!lasgow — Glencoe —  .lolni 
O'Groat's — CuUoden— Professor  Blackie-liack  ni  Canada — Tlie  Tories  Again 
in  Luck — Offer  of  Trusteeship  Declined— The  JUduutio  ad  Abniirdum  of 
Independence. 

CHAPTER  XXXVIII.  p.vciE  5.S7 


.onse- 
lat  oi> 
^eader- 


551 


THE   GREAT   fiERRVMANDEI!. 

PiU'liamont  Dissolved — Mr.  Mackenzie  Retires  fiom  Lanibton  to  Accept  h'ast 
York — I'lie  (Jan vass— During  it  He  is  Stricken  Down — Redeems  tiu'  Riding 
— Anotlier  Tarid' Change — Tiie  (Jreat  (ierrynumdei- — How  the  Measure  was 
Designated  in  Parliament — Hiving  of  the  Grits —The  Process  of  Manufac- 
ture of  Toi'v  (/onstilucncies — Othcials  Superseded  as  Rciuining  Oilicers  - 
Sir  Joini  A.  Macdoiuild's  Own  Arguments  Again-st  the  Measure  —Is  tiio 
Principle  of  Gerrymander  Constitutional? — Power  to  Canada  to  Negotiate 
Her  Own  Treaties— "A  Hritisli  Subject  I  was  Horn,"  etc. — Ringing  S[>eech 
from  Mr.  Mackenzie  m  Reply— '{"he  Flourish  of  liic  Flag,  and  "  The  Flag 
of  Common  Sejiso  ' — "  Wasted  Opportunities." 


CHAPTER  XXXIX. 


PAGE   (iOl 


Session 
It  Pro- 
Chief 
line — 
Mac- 
( )ffei' 


)():i 


in    His 
"iiv— 


TO   EUROI'E    AGAIN. 

A  Proposed  Shelf  in  the  Senate— Testimonial  from  the  Lamhton  Friends - 
Crosses  tile  Atlantic  Once  More  in  Search  of  Healtii— Fine  Letter  from  Eiliu- 
burgh — (irapliic  Historical  Incidents-  Knox  and  Calvin  Poor  t^ueen  Mary 
—Glimpses  of  Venice  and  Milan — Speech  at  tlie  Empire  Club  in  London 
— Lord  Dufferins  Kslimate  of  it  —  Lord  Lome  —  Lord  Lansdowne— Lord 
Stanley. 

CHAPTEH  XL  PAtiE  (JOS 

HE   DEPICTS   liLMSELl'V 

Goes  to  the  North-West— Again  in  Search  of  Health     Splendid  Descriptive 
Letter  to  his  Daughter— The   Rockies     Mount  Slephou— Wheat   Fields  of 


;?o 


COSTILWTS. 


over  OiU! 'I'lioiisiiiid  A'Tch  'I'lic  Fii^lil  u  itii  liia  l)i,s(>ii8o -A  i,aHt  \\m\  In 
Scotliuitl  IiittMcsting  Sfiios  of  Lultcis  'I'lie  Man  Kcvculcd — His  I'eii  Tio- 
turua  of  lliiiisflf. 

CIlAI'TKi:   \1J.  pact:  (J21 

Ki\i:ii\«;   Till;  kkitkus. 

'I'lio  Sccoiwl  RiHiiif,'  in  Mi«  Noilli  West,-  Ill-'I'roatniciit,  Causes  Rclicllinii  — 
"Old  To-Moirow" — Sacrifioo  of  Lifi;  and  'I'reaHure. — 'I'Ik;  Kiaiu'liiHci  lMi<]iiiLy 
— 'I'lio  llcvising  liarriHter  Tlio  Country  Delivorod  into  Hin  Hands— Mr. 
Maekeii/.ie  on  tlio  Outrage — Tho  Indian  Vote— Tlio  Tory  Cricks  from  IS(i7 
to  ISDI. 

CIIAITKU  WAV,  PAGE  028 

HIS    LAST    DAYS. 

Again  Iti'tiinied  for  l-last  Yoi'k --f!liai-IeH  Maci<(!n/.ie  in  tlie  Legislature  -Death 
of  Sir  Jolin  A.  Maedonald — Mr.  lilaU<!".s  Retirement — Member  for  South 
Longford,  h(daiid-Mi'.  f lacken/iii'.s  Lust  Manifeslo-  "  1  lltipeiit  It" — Vote 
on  Uie  .Icmiit  Hill  ills  SevcMilieili  Uirllidiiv  .\  I'^iilal  Kail  Ills  Illness— 
His  DcMtli  on  Maslcr  Day  'I'lie  Nation's  Sorrow — Touching  Tiihule^i  Tlie 
I'liniial  I'iigeants  in  Toionto  and  Siirnia    The  Orations, 


(MI.MTKR  XIJII. 


l'A(iK   Go 5 


TuntuTi'.s  TO  ins  memory. 

Mis.  MioKenzie's  Help  to  lliin  in  Ills  I'uhlic  Career — Ilia  Reeognil  ion  of  It — 
Her  Devotion  in  His  Long  Ilhu'ss  l'ernonal  and  I'uhlie  Triliutrs  Letter 
from  Hon.  A.  (i.  .lonea  Hon.  S.  II.  Hlake'.s  Oration -The  I'ulpit  and  the 
I'rciih— All  Unite  to  do  Him  Honor. 


^oc»h«  ©c»uo^tUc^♦ 


"Caiiiul.i,  Since  111..  Union  of  IHM." Dknt. 

" 'I'lii'  llisloiyof  III!'  IJpjHT  (Janail.i  liflKtllioii  "  — DknT. 

"  I'ailiiiiiHUil.iii'y  ( iov(M'Min<'nt,  in  ('unada."     Tol)!). 

"  I'ailiaiMi'ntary  ( iov(!rnMicnL  in  Mie  IJiili.sli  ('olonics."     'I'onn. 

"  I'arliaincntry"  I'rocwUir*!  and  I'liKilJcc." — IJoi'Iii.ndi'. 

"  S|)('((lir,s  of  llic  Hon.  A1(!X.  Ma(;ii(^M/.i«  in  Scolland  and  (Janala." 

"(  onslilulional  I  )ii(iinii'nts  of  <!anada." — lloiisrov. 

"The  Kail  of  l)iiir<  Tin's  AdniiMi.sLratioa  in  (Janada."     Lkcco. 

"  'I'lie  ( Canadian  I'orl  rait  ( lallerv." 

"A  ShoiL  Hi.storyof  the  <!ana«'lian  IVople."     (Jko.  iiiaci;,  M.A.,  f.I.l) 

"  Nova  liritannia."     Mokkis. 

"  History  of  (.'anailii  "—.J.  I'\  J  KK  Kin  is,  H.A. 

"  l.if(!and  S|)('<'(iies  of  tlui  Ifon    (ieo    IJrown."    -Al.KX.  Macki;n/.ii  . 

"  Life  of  Siidoim  A.  .\Iaedoriahl."-(i.  M  KKOKii  Al).»M. 

"  The  Canadian  Xoil  h-WeMl."     (J.  MKliiiKli  AdaM. 

"  ( 'onfeileial  ion  of  (Canada." — (ilCAV. 

"lUnada  l-'ir.st, ;  A  Memorial  of  the  lale  \V\l.  A.   KosTKll,  Q.C." 

"History  ..f  (Janada."     \V,   H.   Wirmu.w,  D.I).,  K  IJ.S.C. 

"  ( '.inadii  and  tli<!  ( )  madian  (j»n('.si  ion."— (iolJiWiN  SMirii,  D.C  fi. 

"  Iteininiscenees."    -Sill  l''it.\N(;is  HiNt.'KS. 

"(-'aiia(hi  Under  the  Administration  of   F>ord  Loriu!." — CoM.Ins. 

"  Life  and   TniK!-!  of  the  Kij^lii  Hon.  Sirdolin  .\.  Maedonald."     Col. i, ins. 

"Canada    Under   tlu;   Adiiiini.str.'U ion   of    the   I'larl   of    Diill'ijrin.  '     tJKidiiiii 

SrKWARI',  .1  I'N. 

"  Thi^  Dominion  .Animal  Ivej^fistor."     .Morhv.n. 
D(d)ate.son  ( lonfederation  of  the  I'rovinecH. 


I'ai'liamentary  (.'oinpanion. 
.loiirnalHof  tlie,  Houho  '»f  (Ji; 


(JoiuiuoiiH,  1S(!7  t<i  date. 
Sessional  I'apeiH. 

.louiniils  of  t  h<!  fj(>L;islativ(!  Assenddy  ol  Canada. 
.Statutes  of  ( 'anada. 
Dehatt's  of  iho  lloiiso  of  Cinninon.s. 


3SrOT£3. 

The  aidhor.s  acknowledge  their  iii(Ud)t<Mln<;HH  to  many  |ierHoiis  for  the  n«e  of 
tlie  oii;^'inal  Idier.s  and  |ta|ter.H  which  appt^ar  in  this  vtdiime.  They  are  undui* 
spe.  lal  ohligations  111  this  respect  to  Mr.s.  Macki.'ii/.iu,  Mr.  Itohert  Maiken/.ie, 
.^ir.  CharlcH  Mackoiizie,  M.IM*.,  and  llev.  Dr.  TlioiupHoii — llio  two  laxt  named 
li'.'iiig  tlio  I'lxeciitor.s.  Tln^  literary  memorials  of  I  he  deceaHed  HditeHinaii  ha\(! 
licen  imre.servedly  |)laced  at  their  disposal  ;  iiiid  tliey  hav<'  proved  a  mine  of 
Mcidl  ii,  whicli  lias  liecii  eNLensively  draw  ii  upon  for  the  ('nriidiiiicnt  of  tlus 
Work.  Mr.  .Ma<;ken/.i<!'s  hai)it  wa.s  to  preserve  all  Iciiiis  and  papers  which 
c.iiiii'  into  hiri  possession,  and  thoy  wcsri;  methodically  eiidor.sed.  They  were 
not,  however,  <daHsilied  or  arranged  ;  ho  that  it  lici'iiini!  at  oiicts  olivioiiM  that 
there  was  no  preparation  of  material  looking  to  a  reeord  of  IiIh  life.  He  wa.s 
consulted  ahoiit  li  hio^raphy  somo  years  liefoie  he  died,  lint  he  Hpokc  of  it  iiH 
u  matter  to  wliicli  Ik!  had  devoted  very  little  thought,  and  tht!  suliject  was 
oiiu  Lo  which  liu  dill  not  roverl. 


r 

I 


tiet  of  3Hu5tration0. 


1      XT  Ai  ,.-  PAGE 

J  •  Hon.  Alex.  M.ickonzio _  -j 

2.  Mivs.  Mackenzie 3 

3.  Parish  Church  and  Manso,  Logierait 37 

4.  House  at  Logierait  (Birthplace) 43 

5.  Old  Parliament  Buildings,  Toronto 69 

G.  Alexander  Mackenzie  (1870) 79 

7.  Old  Parliament  Buildings,  Quebec 113 

8.  Hon.  George  Brown jgg 

9.  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald 59I 

10.  Hon.  Edward  Blake..  "    00- 

-iO/ 

11.  Hon.  Oliver  Mowat 2Qr 

12.  Mr.  Mackenzie's  Old  Home,  Sarnia 324 

13.  The  Mackenzie  Tower,  Ottawa 595 

14.  Mr.  Mackenzie's  Residence,  Toronto 539 

15.  Funeral  Train,  G.  T.  U.  Station,  Sarnia *  '  G45 

16.  Interior  St.  Andrew's  Church,  Sarnia 649 

1  7.  Exterior  St.  Andrew's  Church,  Sarnia 649 

18.  Family  Burial  Plot q~.^ 

19.  Mrs.  Mackenzie.  n-- 

bo  I 

F.\c-siMiLK  OP  HAxn -wniTivns. 

Holton,  Hon.  L.  H.,  fac-simile  of  his  hand-writing 90 

McGee,  Hon.  T.  DA.,     "  «  u        °    

Head,  Sir  E.  W.,  "  •«  „  '" ^^^ 

Brown,  Hon.  Georyc,      "  «i  u  '    ^„- 

Wood,  Hon.  E.  B.,  "  «  «  "' 

_  (  4- 

J>ufferin,  Lord,  <«  <«  n 

....  000 

•Mackenzie,  Hon.  A]<'\.,  "  «  t,  ,,.  _„. 

,,,,,,  '  414. 531 

Make,  Hon.  Kdward.      "  k  tt 

43  < 

-Macdonahl,  Right  Hon.  Sir  J.  A  "  ,-- 

'*  *i»)/ 

Letellier,  Hon.  L.,  «'('«« 

'  430 

Tapper,  Hon.  Sir  Charles,  u  u  '   ^.J 


^ 


PAGE 

3 
.  37 
,  43 

,  69 

.  79 

113 

,  166 

,  591 

,  287 

.  305 

324 

505 

539 

645 

649 

649 

653 

657 


THE 


HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE, 


HIS  LIFE  AND  TIMES. 


CHAPTER  I. 

ALEXAXKEU    MACKENZIE'S   YOUTH. 

Record  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  Birth — His  Paternal  Ancestry — His  Father's  Loss 
of  Fortune — "  I'eregrinities  " — The  Memorial  Tablet — The  Mother's  Family 
— The  Parents'  Fmlownients — ^Mr.  Mackenzie's  ]5irth{)lace — His  "School- 
ing "— 'I'he  Old  Clockniaker  Sohoolmaater — His  Hard  Necessity — He  Learns 
a  Trade. 


90 
127 
130 
235 
274 
365 
|i'531 
437 
157 
482 


% 


^^  LITTLE  over  seventy  years  ago  there  was  born 
in  a  Scottish  viUage,  to  parents  in  unpretentious 
#rkf  Jk  circumstances,  a  lad  who,  like  Clive,  was  destined 
N^f  Qy  in  after  hfe  to  play  an  important  part  in  a  wide 
e5  :r  ^^^^'^  ^^^  another  hemisphere — whoso  destiny  it  was 
to  realise  in  his  own  person,  and  in  our  oa'u  day,  the 
t'airy-book  romance  of  "  Turn  again  Whittiugton,  Lord  Mayor 
of  London."  This  lad  was  Alexander  Mackenzie,  Prime  ^lin- 
ister  of  Canada.  Hi-  came  to  Canada,  in  1S42,  a  working 
stonecutter;  he  returned  from  Canada,  in  1875,  at  the  head  of 
its  Government.     In  a  letter  descriptive  of  the  voyage  home 


"% 


34 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


in  the  latter  yoviV,  he  himself  marks  the  strannre  contrast  in 
his  position  and  fortune.  "  LeaviDg  Quebec,"  he  says,  "  we 
had  a  delightful  sail  down  the  St.  Lawrence,  that  queen  of 
rivers.  My  mind  went  back  to  the  time  when,  as  a  nameless 
mason  lad,  I  had  saili^d  up  that  same  river,  33  years  before, 
the  country  and  future  all  urdcnown  to  me.  Little  did  I 
think  that  I  should  ever  return,  as  I  did  to-day,  full  of  resjion- 
sibility,  if  not  of  honor."  "His,"  says  the  Loudon  Times, 
"  was  a  remarkable  career.  He  rose  from  toilino-  in  a  stone- 
yard  to  rule  the  greatest  territorj^-  in  the  British  Empire." 
"To-day,"  remarked  he  great  French  journalist,  Paul  de 
Cazes,  when  referring  to  Mr.  Mackenzie's  visit  to  the  Queen, 
"  the  poor  mechanic  of  the  past  is  welcomed  and  feasted  at  the 
most  aristocratic  court  in  Europe,  while,  for  the  proud  nobles 
who  surround  him  in  the  sfilded  salons  of  St.  James,  his  lowlv 
origin  is  disguised  under  the  imprint  of  ability  stamped  upon 
the  Canadian  statesman." 

He  was  the  third  son  of  Alexander  Mackenzie  and  Mar}'" 
Stewart  Fleming.  As  annalist  of  Ihe  family,  his  father  has 
methodically  recorded  in  a  small  book  the  domestic  events  as 
they  occurred.  The  book  is  now  in  posses.sion  of  the  eldest 
son,  and  from  it  the  following  extract  is  taken :  "  1822,  at 
Logierait,  Monday,  2.Sth  da}'  of  January.  Born  to  me  at  a 
quarter  past  twelve,  Sunday  ulght,  n^y  third  son.  Baptized  on 
Friday,  8th  of  February.  Named  Alexander."  There  were 
ten  children  born  to  these  parents — all  sons.  They  were 
named  Robert,  Hope  Fleming,  Alexander,  Thomas,  Donald, 
John,  Adam  Stewart,  James,  Charles  and  Daniel.  Thomas, 
Donald  and  Daniel  died  In  infancy. 

The  father  died  at  Dunkeld  in  183G,  aged  52.  Six  years 
after  his  death,  the  son,  Alexander,  came  to  Canada ;  he  was 
followed  one  year  subsequently  by  Hope,  and  four  years  after 


m 


A  L  EX  A  XDER  M.  1 CK  EXZI E  'S  ¥0  U  Til. 


35 


l.y  tlio  otlier  lirothers  an*!  their  inotlior.  On  Foliniary  10th, 
ISOl,  at  tht?  aot;  of  G6,  the  iiiothei',  wliose  nuu<leu  iwuue  was 
Miiry  Stewart  Fleming,  died  in  Saniiii,  KurroumUd  hy  her 
seven  children.  She  lies  buried  in  the  cemetery  there,  in  the 
midst  of  five  of  those  sons;  the  only  ones  now  living  being  the 
oldest  and  the  youngest,  Robert  an<l  Charles. 

It  is  our  main  jiurpose  in  these  pages  to  follow  the  career  of 
Alexander,  both  in  Scotland  and  Canada,  and  as  the  starting 
place  is  a  little  earlier  in  point  of  time,  let  us  see  what  may  be 
f(jund  borne  on  a  couple  of  the  stems  of  the  genealogical  tree. 
And  first,  as  relates  to  the  ancestrj-  of  the  father. 

Tht^  name  of  the  paternal  great-grandfather  of  the  Cana- 
dian Mae.kenzies  was  Donald,  a  Ross-shire  Highlander,  who 
came  south  to  Perthshire,  where  he  married  Margaret  Fer- 
guson, and  where,  in  1742,  their  grandfather,  ^Falcolm,  was 
born,  on  the  banks  of  the  Tunnnel,  near  its  confluence  with 
the  Garry,  at  the  foot  of  the  famous  Pass  of  Killiecrankio.  The 
families  of  Donald  and  of  ^lalcolm,  who  married  Catherine 
McDonald,  of  Strathtay,  all  remained  in  Perthshire  ;  here  they 
were  born,  and  hei-e  they  died,  and  were  buried — Donald  and 
his  generation  in  the  churchyard  of  the  ]iai'ish  of  ^loulin: 
Malcolm  an'i  his  in  Logierait,  where  tiie  elder  Alexander  a;i<I 
his  three  litth'  chiMren  also  lie — all  of  two  generatitjus  and 
part  of  the  third  sleeping  their  ]U'aceful  sleep  in  this  most 
beatitiful  part  of  the  Perthshin^  Highlands. 

^laleohn  ^lackenzie  was  amillwi-ight  and  miller,  and,  as  we 
learn  from  the  original  document  now  before  us,  signed  by 
the  Duke,  leased  from  His  Grace,  John,  Duke  of  Athol,  "  the 
miln,  milu-croft,  houses,  yards,  and  appurtenances  thereto 
belonging  of  Kincraigie,  together  with  the  thirlage,"  the"thir^ 
lage"  being  defined  by  Webster  as  "the  right  which  tlie  owner 
of  a  mill  possesses,  by  contract  or  law,  to  compel  the  tenants 


r.Ci 


LIFE  OF  THE  JIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


of  a  certain  district  to  briiif^-  all   their  grain   to  bis  mill   for 


grinaing, 


jrindii 

In  this  oM  mill  of  Kincraiofio,  haunted  with  all  manner  of 
"spooks,"  and  which  we  have  lu'ai'il  Mr.  Mackenzie  say  he 
never  went  past  when  a  boy  except  on  the  run,  and  then  with 
a  feeling  of  dread,  as  one  pursurd  by  the  sheeted  dead,  Alex- 
ander, the  miller's  son,   was  born  in   the  year  17x4',  and  he, 
like  his  father,  became  skilled  in  the  use  of  tools.     He  served 
an  apprenticeship  as  a  carpenter,  ami  during  the  period  of 
feverish  activity  in  the  fitting  and  refitting  of  battleships  in 
the  early  part  of  the  century,  he  found  proPitaljle  employment 
as  ship-joiner  at  Portsmouth.     But  he  was  much  more  than  a 
mere   mechanic;  he  was  an  excellent  architectural  draughts- 
man.    After  Waterloo  he  returned  to  the  former  scenes  in 
Perthshire,  where  he  superintended  the  erection  of  manorial 
houses,  and  took  contracts  of  his  own.     He  was  of  an  adven- 
turous and  enterprising  turn  of  mind,  and  branched  out  into 
other    undertakings.      The  right  to  cut,   chiefly  for  the   tan 
bark,  oak  timber  in  the  coppices  of  Scotland,  is  let  by  the 
landed  lairds  every  twenty-one  years.    A  good  deal  of  employ- 
ment is  given  to  the  people  in  this  way,  and  before  the  close  of 
the  Fjvnch  wars  large  profits  were  derived  from  these  enter- 
prises.    Alexander,  as  appears  by  his  diary,  engaged  in  them. 
But  the  war  expenditures  having  now   Iteen    stopped,  great 
financial  distress  came  upon  the  people,  and  this  once  prosper- 
ous man  met  with  such  considerable  reverses  that  he  never 
regained    his    former   ffood    fortune.       Henceforth,    with    his 
increasing  family,    life    was   to    him    a  stern    ri'ality,  which 
impelled  him  to  make  frequent  mo\ements  from  place  to  place 
in  search  for  the  means  of  bettering  his  circumstances. 

He  married  in  1817,  when  he  was  living  in  Logierait.     In 
the  year  1825,  the  family  were  in  Eilinljurgh,  where,  he  says, 


a 


S 


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M 


S 
^ 

s 


»fl 


ca 


ALEXAXDEn  MACKENZIE'S  YOUTH. 


"  my  sons  Robert,  Hope  F.  and  Alexander,  had  the  measles. 
Robert  and  Alexander  got  them  easily  over,  but  Hope  for  sev- 
eral days  was  considered  dangerous,  having  been  bled,  leeched, 
and  blistered  " — from  which  pleasant  and  heroic  treatment,  as 
well  as  the  measles,  he  at  length,  after  a  severe  struggle,  mi- 
raculously recovered  !  On  the  10th  of  March,  182G,  it  is  writ- 
ten that  the  two  "sons  Robert  and  Hope  Fleming  went  from 
liere  to  Cluny,  Strathtay,  for  some  time  to  attend  school  and 
learn  the  Gaelic."  They  had  missed  acquiring  the  Gaelic  as  an 
ordinary  vehicle  of  talk,  although  their  father  and  mother 
habitually  conversed  together  in  that  ancient  tongue. 

"  Perth,  Nov.  2G,  1827.  Arrived  here  with  my  wife,  and 
Alexander,  my  son."  "  1829,  May  15.  Removed  from  Rerth 
to  Pitlochry." 

In  tlie  summer  of  1834  they  removed  to  Dunl<old,  where,  to 
borrow  an  expressive  word,  Alexander  Mackenzie's  "peregrini- 
ties  "  ended,  for  here,  in  1880,  he  died.  He  was  buried  at  Lo- 
gierait,  where  Malcolm,  his  father,  who  lived  to  the  advanced 
age  of  94,  had  already  been  interred.  Like  all  his  race,  Alex- 
ander was  a  sober-minded.  God-fearing  man,  and  the  certifi- 
cate is  preserved  which  gave  him  warrant  for  admission  to  the 
Lord's  table  in  Glasgow  at  the  age  of  21.  We  copy  from  the 
original  paper  now  before  us  the  certificate  of  church  mem- 
bership given  to  this  couple,  the  father  and  mother  of  the 
Canadian  Mackenzies,  by  the  session  clerk  of  Logierait : 
"  These  do  certify  that  the  bearers  hereof,  Alexander  Macken- 
zie and  Mary  Fleming,  his  wife,  have  been  residenters  in  this 
pai'ish  for  pearly  twenty  years,  always  behaving  themselves 
regularly,  under  a  fair  character,  and  free  from  any  grounds 
oi  church  censure,  in  full  communion  with  the  church,  an  1  may 
be  freely  admitted  into  any  christian  congregation,  or  society, 
wherever  they  may  happen  to  reside.     Given  by  appointment 


40 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDEli  MACKENZIE. 


of  tho  kirk  session  of  Logierait,  the  twenty-seventh   Jay  of 
March,  eig-hteeu  hundred  and  twenty-five  j'ears. 

•'  Thosias  Mexzies,  Min. 
•'Donald  Fleming,   Session  Clerk." 

From  Kincraigic,  where  Alexander  was  Lorn,  to  Dunkeld, 
where  he  died,  the  distance  is  about  six  miles ;  and  from  Dun- 
keld to  Logerait,  wliere  he  was  buried,  and  where  the  younger 
Alexander  was  born,  is  from  eight  to  nine  miles. 

Fifteen  years  after  coming  to  this  country,  the  future  Can- 
adian premier  returned  for  the  first  time  to  the  scenes  of  his 
earlier  days.  Wishing  to  pLace  an  inscription  while  there  at 
the  head  of  his  father's  grave,  two  difficulties  presented  them- 
selves. The  first  was  that  the  family  burial  plot  abutted  on 
the  east  wall,  near  b}'  the  main  door  of  the  church,  leaving  no 
room  for  a  monument,  and  thus  necessitating  the  insertion  of 
a  tablet  into  the  wall,  and  next  that  the  sanction  was  required 
of  the  heritors  or  landowners,  on  whom  lay  the  responsibility 
of  building  and  upholding  the  parisii  church.  To  the  credit  of 
the  heritors,  be  it  said,  the  requisite  permission,  notwithstanding 
some  objections,  was  granted  as  a  special  favor  to  the  claims 
of  an  exiled  parishioner  to  thus  perform  a  filial  duty ;  and 
the  tablet  remains  there  as  the  only  attachment  of  the  kind 
possessed  by  the  old  church  walls.  The  widow  and  the  family 
continued  to  reside  at  Dunkeld  from  the  death  of  the  husband 
and  father  until  their  removal  to  Canada  in  1847. 

We  now  turn  to  the  mother's  side  of  tlie  house.  The 
mother  of  the  Mackenzies  was  the  daughter  of  Donald  Flem- 
ing and  Jean  Stewart,  both  persons  of  good  social  position. 
Mr.  Fleming  was  society  schoolmaster  and  session  clerk  of 
Logierait.  Society  schools  were  supplementary  to  parish 
schools,  and  were  what  mission  schools  arc  here ;  they  were 


ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE'S  YOUTH. 


41 


iiaintaincd  by  the  society  for  the  propar^r.tion  of  christian 
knowledge  in  the  Higlikmds  and  Islands  of  Scotland.  Mr. 
Fleming  acted  also  for  the  people  in  secular  matters.  Law- 
yers were  unknown  in  those  days  in  this  secluded  part  of 
Scotland,  and  he  was  therefore  the  chief  adviser  and  adminis- 
trator of  the  affairs  of  the  people  of  a  very  extensive  district 
— a  position  which  gave  him  a  high  standing  and  great  in- 
fluence. These  peaceful  occupations  he  preferred  to  the  more 
stirring  life  of  the  army,  in  which  in  his  earlier  days  his 
wife's  relatives  proposed  to  purchase  for  him  a  commission. 
He  was  not  of  Celtic  origin,  and  he  had  of  necessity  to  master 
the  Gaelic  language,  which  he  spoke  without  the  Higidand 
intonation.     He  died  in  1826,  aged  70  years. 

Jean,  his  wife,  was  the  eldest  of  the  four  daughters  of  Adam 
Stewart,  a  regimental  captain  and  a  landed  proprietor  of 
Strathtay,  owning,  as  he  did,  the  estates  of  Blackhill  and 
Cluny,  with  their  two  manorial  houses.  These  estates,  which 
are  about  six  miles  up  the  Strath  or  valley  of  the  Tay  from 
Logierait,  are  still  in  the  possession  of  the  family,  the  present 
proprietor  being  Captain  Robertson.  The  manor  house  of 
Cluny  and  the  shooting  privileges  on  the  estate  are  now,  or 
have  been,  under  lease  to  Sir  Donald  Currie,  the  great  ship- 
owner, and  member  of  the  House  of  Commons  for  West 
Perthshire.  It  was  to  this  house,  then  in  the  possession  of 
Miss  Anne  Stewart,  their  grand  aunt,  that  the  two  elder  boys, 
Robert  and  Hope,  went  to  live  in  1820,  in  order  to  "attend 
school  and  learn  the  Gaelic." 

Mary  Fleming,  the  mother  of  the  Mackenzies,  was  tl.o 
fourth  of  seven  children,  four  sons  and  three  daughters.  The 
eldest  son,  Thomas,  went  to  Jamaica,  and  died  there  of  yellow 
fever.  Another  son,  Hope  Stewart,  was  bred  to  the  profession 
of  medicine,  and  took  the  degree  of  M.D,     He,  however,  never 


42 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


practised.  His  family  iiifluonce  procured  for  him  a  commis- 
sion in  the  service  of  the  Eci.st  India  Company.  He  attained 
high  rank  in  the  Madras  Presidency,  and  acquired  considerable 
wealth.  He  died  in  1874<,  in  London,  England,  leaving  hand- 
some legacies  to  his  numerous  nephews  and  nieces,  and  the  re- 
mainder of  his  fortune  to  his  cousin,  the  Captain  Robertson 
ah'eady  mentioned,  who  was  his  executor  and  residuary  legatee. 
The  Lord  Provost  of  Perth,  who  presided  at  the  public  ban- 
('uet  jjivcn  in  Mr.  Mackenzie's  honor  in  1875,  and  Rev.  Dr. 
Macdonald,  of  Leith,  a  distinguished  minister,  and  an  author 
of  some  note,  are,  like  Captain  Robertson,  cousins  of  the  Mac- 
kenzics. 

On  both  sides  of  the  house,  therefore,  tlie  ^rackenzies  came 
of  good  families,  as  the  phrase  goes,  and  their  ancestors  were 
of  the  best  stock,  but  this  they  never  referred  to  in  any  way 
whatever.  They  relied  solely  on  their  own  merits.  Their 
creed  on  the  social  structure  ijuestion  was  ba.sed  upon  the  two 
celebrated  sentences  of  the  Prime  Minister  in  his  speech  in 
1875  before  the  working  men  of  Dundee:  "For  my  own 
part,  sir,  I  never  allude  to  the  fact  that  I  have  been  a  working 
man  as  a  reason  why  I  should  be  rejected  or  why  I  should  be 
accepted.  I  base  my  entire  claim  for  public  confidence  upon 
the  expressions  of  opinion  which  I  believe  command  that  con- 
fidence, and  ui)on  the  strength  of  those  principles  of  which  I 
have  been  a  humble  advocate  for  ninnv  \ears." 

Having  written  at  some  little  length  of  Alexander  Macken- 
zie, the  father,  it  is  proper  to  sny  of  the  mother,  not  only 
whose  features,  but  whose  large  intellectual  endowments  the 
children  inlnn'ited  in  a  \(  ly  marked  degree,  tliat  she  wus  a  wo- 
man of  great  insight  and  wisdom,  gentle  of  nnmner,  though 
firm  and  independent  in  cluuacter,  and  eminently  fitted  to 
instil  tliose  solid  jirinciiiks  into  the  minds  und  hearts  of  lier 


(X! 


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m 


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ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE'S  YOU  TIL 


45 


sons,  which  made  them  the  strong-willed,  self-reliant,  unself- 
ish, honorable,  public-spirited  men  that  they  were.  They  had 
a  warm  attachment  for  each  other,  and  the  greatest  affection 
for  their  parents,  of  whom  they  invariably  spoke,  not  in  the 
ordinary  way  of  "  father,"  or  "  mother,"  but  in  the  more  ex- 
clusive and  tender,  almost  sacred,  sense  of  "our  father,"  and 
"our  mother." 

A  well-informed  Scottish  wiiter  some  years  ago,  in  a  sketch 
of  Mr.  Mackenzie  and  his  ancestors,  said  that  though  his  par- 
ents were  in  humble  life,  his  father  being  a  country  joiner, 
the  joiner  "  was  so  well  endowed  with  brains  and  information, 
and  the  gift  of  the  tongue,  that  he  was  the  oracle  of  the  village, 
the  life  and  soul  of  any  social  organisations  which  it  had. 
His  mother  was  daughter  of  Mr.  Fleming,  long  schoolmaster 
at  Inver  of  TulHpourie,  whose  famil}^  talent,  intelligence,  and 
refinement  raised  them  decidedly  above  the  average  of  their 
peers." 

As  we  shall  in  this  nari-ative  employ  the  language  of  Mr. 
Alexander  Mackenzie  himself,  wherever  it  can  be  introduced, 
so  now  we  give  his  own  bi'ief  description  of  the  place  where, 
"  in  a  blast  of  Januar'  win',"  he  first  saw  the  light  of  day,  and 
where  his  home  was  for  the  earlier  four  vears  of  his  childhood 
life.  He  speaks  of  his  lather's  house  at  Logierait  as  "  a  stone 
cottage  prettily  situated  near  the  conlluence  of  the  rivers  Tay 
and  Tummel — one  of  the  most  beautiful  spots  in  the  Southern 
Highlands,  where,  within  a  few  miles  of  the  ancient  cathedral 
city  of  Dunkeld  on  the  south,  antl  the  famous  pass  of  Killie- 
crankie  on  the  north,  a  rich  cultivation  in  the  broad  valleys 
contrasts  strongly  with  near  mountain  scenery,  rendering  the 
spot  no  less  celebrated  for  natural  beauty  than  it  is  for  its 
historic  recollections."  The  house  was  built  by  his  father 
about  eighty  years  ago. 


««■■ 


40 


LIFE  OF  THE  flOX.  ALEXAXDER  MACKLXZIE. 


Logierait  is  a  villao-c  of  ancient  fame,  even  in  the  crowiled 
liistoiy  of  Scotland.  It  has  a  Gaelic  name,  signifying  "the 
hollow  of  the  foi-tress."  In  early  da3's  it  was  associated  with 
royalty,  and  was  the  seat  of  the  Duke  of  Athol's  regality  court, 
a  tribunal  which  had  extensive  jurisdiction  in  cases  criminal 
and  civil,  and,  to  a  lesser  extent,  in  matters  ecclesiastical.  So 
great,  indeed,  W(*iv  the  criminal  powers  of  the  court,  that  a 
"gallows-hill"  was  a  necessary  appendage  to  it.  The  village 
lias  been  the  birth[)lace  and  home  of  other  distinguished  men 
than  the  Prime  Minister  of  Canada,  notably  Di-.  Adam  Fer- 
guson, the  historian  and  philosopher,  and  Dr.  Roliert  Bisset; 
while  JMajor-General  Sir  Roliert  H.  Dick,  Bart,  who  fell  at 
Sobraon,  in  LS4(!,  in  the  hour  of  victory,  also  shared  the 
honors  of  the  pai-ish. 

Pitlochry,  where  the  family  li\ed  for  a  time,  after  leaving 
Logierait,  in  a  comfortable  stone  house  still  standing  there,  is 
almost  six  miles  further  north,  and  nearer  the  entrance  to  the 
famous  Pass.  It  is  a  delightful  spot  on  the  banks  of  the 
Tunimel,  which  a  poet  might  envy.  'J'hc  river  at  this  point 
carries  both  its  own  waters  and  the  wat(?rs  of  the  Garry;  the 
Garry  joining  it  a  few  miles  higher  up.  Both  streams  are 
celebrated  in  song,  and  al)ound  with  national  reminiscences. 

"  Cttin'  ye  by  Athol,  lad  wi"  the  pliilalitg, 
Down  liy  llu;  'I'lininu'l,  of  liaiiUs  of  tlio  (Jai'ry? 
Saw  yo  our  lads  wi'  tlirii'  l)()iini'ts  and  wliito  cofkadcs, 
Leaving  liieir  niounlaius  to  follow  I'lincu  Charlie 'i  " 

The  old  village,  with  its  many  and  varie(l  attractions,  has  of 
late  years  grown  into  quite  a  summer  resijrt.  Probably  there 
is  nothing  more  beautiful  than  this  fa\-ored  spot  in  all  Scot- 
land. Such  was  the  opinion  (tf  a  warm  lo\-er  of  nature,  the 
late  Charles  Kingsl(>y.  When  dining  with  ^Ir.  Mackenzie 
iiome  years  \xgo  in  Ottawa,  he  said:  "I  have  travelled  all  over 


ALI'JXAXDER  MACKENZIE S  YOUTH. 


47 


the  world,  and  I  know  no  place  more  lovely,  or  a  drive  more 
glorious,  than  that  from  Blair-Atliol  to  Pitloclny,  through  the 
Pass  of  Killiccrankie."  In  his  tour  of  Scotland  in  LS83,  T^.Ir. 
Mackenzie  paintod  out  tlie  old  cherry  tree  at  Logierait,  from 
which  when  a  boj''  he  had  fallen  when  striving  to  get  its  fruit, 
and  for  which  he  narrowly  escaped  a  thrashing,  not  for  the 
injury  done  to  himself,  but  to  his  jacket. 

While  residing  at  Pitlochry  the  three  elder  boys  went  to 
the  parish  school  of  ^loulin,  distant  a  little  over  a  mile.  The 
schoolhouse  was  then,  and  is  still,  a  small,  quaint,  uncomfort- 
able building.  Writing  from  Ottawa,  over  fifty  years  after  he 
had  received  his  scuntv  "  schooling"  here,  to  ;i  friend  in  Dun- 
kcld,  Ml'.  Mackt'iizic  paints  a  ])ic'tin'e  ot*  the  surroundings, 
M'hich  recalls  ^Irs.  ((uskell's  description  of  the  graveyard  an<l 
parsonage  at  Haworth,  where  Charlotte  Bronte  and  her  weir<l 
sisters  nursed  their  straiiffe  ffenius  in  the  bosom  of  the  wild 
Yorkshire  moorlands  :  "  What  a  mistake  our  grandfathers  and 
our  immediate  predecessors  made  in  having  dnu'ch,  inanso, 
graveyard,  and  schoolmaster's  pivmi.ses  all  crowded  togetlu'i". 
T  remember  our  old  schoolhouse  in  Moulin,  like  that  at 
Logierait,  had  one  pai't  in  the  enclosure  of  the  graveyard.  The 
\ast  accunuilfition  of  bodies  for  centuries  had  raised  the 
gnjund  in  the  graveyard  some  tive  or  six  feet,  and  the  back 
windows  of  our  school  were  half  covered  by  the  growing 
soil.  Let  nil'  ndil  that  1  met  an  old  woukmi  here  latelv  whoso 
Imshand  worked  for  years  with  my  father  at  Logierait  bef(ire 
1  was  liorn." 

^\'hen  he  was  at  Moulin  in  1SS.'>,  Mr.  Mack(Mi/ie,  pointing 
nut  the  old  school-house  on  whose  benches  he  hail  sat  as 
a  little  boy,  said:  "It  still  looks  as  old-fashiont'd  and  anti- 
i|uated  as  if  it  had  stood  there  since  the  times  of  the  Hood — a 
lit  place  for  the  education  of  Noah  and  his  family."     He  also 


48 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


related  some  interesting  anecdotes  of  the  old  teacher  wliose 
power  in  wielding  the  tawse  and  authority  over  his  suhjects 
made  him  more  terrible  to  them  than  the  Czar   of   all   the 
Russias.     Robertson  w^is  the  name  of  the  Moulin  dominie,  and 
lie   eked  out  his  scanty  pay  in   pedagogy  by  tinkering  old 
clocks  and  watches,  upon  whose  bodies  he  was  accustomed  to 
work,  while  driving  the  arts  of  reading,    'riting  and  'rithmetic 
into  the  minds  of  the  unwilling  urchins,  .  It  is  to  be  appre- 
hended that  Alexander  got  little  under  the  ferule  of  the  me- 
chanical old  Robertson,  or  at  either  of  the  two  or  three  other 
similar  educational  establishments  which  he  attendetl  within 
the  brief  compass  of  his  so-called  scholastic  life.     But  what 
says  a  great  master  on  this  subject,  his  countryman,  who,  as 
the  scholar  of  the  family,  had  the  advantages  of  a  university 
education — though  Ids  father,  too,  was  but  a  working  mechan- 
ic— Scholar  Tom  ?    "To  him,"  speaking  of  John  Sterling,  "and 
to  all  of  us,  the  expi-essly-appointed  schoolmasters  and  school- 
ings we  get  are  as  nothing,  compared  with  the  unappointed, 
incidental,  and  continual  ones,  whose  school  hours  are  all  the 
days  and  nights  of  our  existence,  and  whose  lessons,  noticed  or 
unnoticed,  stream  in  ujion  us  with  every  breath  we  draw." 

Robert,  the  eldest  brother,  has  told  us  that  Alexander  left 
school  altogether  when  he  was  thirteen,  and  that  from  ten  to 
thirteen  he  worked  in  sununer  with  the  farmers,  and  went  to 
school  in  the  winter.  Three  winters'  schooling  at  such  insti- 
tutions as  ancient  Robertson's,  the  clock-mender,  nuist  have 
been  a  poor  equipment  for  a  lifetime,  and  if  Thomas  Carlyle 
himself  had  been  compelled  to  put  up  with  it,  instead  of  hav- 
ing entered  at  the  college  at  Edinburgh,  we  certainly  wt)uld 
not  have  had  "  Sartor  Resartus  "  or  "  Frederick  the  Great." 
How  Mr.  Mackenzie  throughout  his  career  felt  the  liam];ering 
influences  of  his  early  surroundings,  a^jpears  in  a  letter  of 


.■^ 


ALEXAKUER  MACKEXZIE'S  YOUTH. 


49 


lament,  written  to  his  friend,  Mr.  George  Brown,  in  1872, 
A\  hen  he  had  became  a  great  parliamentary  leader — a  letter  so 
full  of  pathos  as  to  evoke  sympathy  from  the  strongest,  for  the 
inadequately  furnished,  if  still  powerful  man:  "I  know  too 
well  my  own  deficiencies  as  a  political  leader  to  wonder  at 
other  people  seeing  them  as  well.  The  want  of  early  advan- 
tages was  but  ill  compensated  for  by  an  anxious-enough  etibrt 
to  acquire  such  in  the  midst  of  a  laboi-ious  life,  deeply  furrowed 
by  domestic  trials,  and  it  has  left  me  but  ill-fitted  to  grapple 
with  questions  and  circumstances  constantly  coming  up  in 
Parliament.  I  am  quite  aware  of  the  advantages  possessed 
by  a  leader  of  men,  of  high  mental  culture  and  having  ample 
means,  especially  when  these  are  joined  to  intellectual  power 
and  personal  excellence.  Therefore,  I  do  not  W'onder  at,  or 
complain  of,  those  who  see  in  others  possessing  such,  greater 
fitness  for  the  work  required  of  them  than  myself." 

He  had  at  that  time,  by  his  own  unaided  eftbrts,  won  a  posi- 
tion which  it  is  the  good  fortune  of  but  one  in  millions  to 
achieve,  however  gifted  or  well-trained  he  ma}'-  happen  to  be. 
By  these  eftbrts  Mr.  Mackenzie's  mind  became  one  of  continu- 
ous development,  ever  acquiring  knowledge,  and  constantly 
expanding  and  growing  upon  what  it  fed.  It  will  be  curious 
and  interesting  to  mark  as  we  go  along,  from  the  outer 
rather  than  from  the  inner  evidences,  the  progress  he  made, 
often  by  leaps  and  bounds,  from  the  period  of  1841,  when  he 
iitruck  out  for  himself  as  journeyman  stonecutter,  until  he 
reached,  in  1873,  the  highest  attainable  altitude  as  chief 
ad\  iser  of  the  Crown. 

But  if  it  was  hard  for  the  boys  to  get  a  livelihood,  much 

less  an  education,  while  the  impoverished  father  was  alive  to 

struggle  for  them,  it  was  harder  still  after  his  death.     There 

Were  seven  of  them,  ranging  from  the  age  of  two  to  seven- 
D 


60 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDEIi  MACKENZIE. 


teen,  Aloxaiicler  Loing  fourteen.  The  three  elder  boys  had 
already  left  school,  for  stern  necessity  had  driven  tlioiu  to  do 
something  in  the  way  of  support  for  themselves.  When  he 
was  but  ten  years  of  age,  Alexander  had  been  compelled  to 
start  forth  in  the  battle  of  life  by  hiring  himself  out  as  a  herd 
lad  to  various  farmers  in  the  neigliborhood,  with  the  attend- 
ant duties  of  caring  for  their  cows  and  sheep.  Wlien  he  was 
sixteen  he  held  the  plough,  and  did  at  tiuit  honorable  em- 
ployment a  man's  full  work,  for  he  was  very  strong  for  his 
age,  and  full  of  pluck  and  resource.  One  who  knew  him 
as  a  lad  has  said  of  him  :  "  He  was  remarkable  for  strength 
and  energy ;  always  on  the  alert,  and  ever  ready  for  fun  or 
frolic."  From  his  youth  he  was  a  born  leader,  and  headed  his 
companions  in  their  every  harndess  mischief-making  expedi- 
tion. But  he  was,  from  first  to  last,  self-respecting,  and  there 
was  never  anything  in  him  approaching  in  the  slightest  degree 
to  badness.  There  was  a  boldness  and  aggressiveness,  an  in- 
dependence of  character  and  thought  about  him,  a  habit  of 
forming  his  own  opinions  and  of  sticking  to  them  when 
formed,  which  all  feared,  and  many  liked  him  for.  But 
whether  they  did  the  one  or  the  other,  he  chalked  out  his 
own  way  and  kept  it.  "  Hew  straight  to  the  line,  and  the 
man's  work  is  not  only  the  better  for  it  in  itself,  but  is  more 
commendable  in  the  eyes  of  his  fellow  men." 

As  the  boys  in  turn  grew  to  a  proper  age,  each  was  appren- 
ticed to  a  trade.  The  eldest  two,  Robert  and  Hope,  became 
carpenters  and  cabinetmakers,  Alexander  a  stonecutter,  John 
a  tin  and  coppersmith,  and  Adam  a  druggist.  The  other  two 
children  were  too  young  to  learn  trades  in  Scotland,  but  after 
their  arrival  in  Canada  James  became  associated  with  tiie  two 
elder  brothers  in  building  and  cabinetmaking,  and  Charles 
joined  John  in  the  hardware  and  tin  and  coppersmithing  busi- 
ness. 


r^' 


CHAPTER   II. 


HIS    ARUIVAL   IN    CANADA. 

Aspirations  not  Ecalised— Hugh  Miller's  Case  Exemplified— Journeyman 
Stonecutter  Before  the  Age  of  Twenty — Works  and  Muses  in  the  Land  of 
Burns— Beginning  of  His  Religious  Life —Becomes  Attached  to  Helen 
Neil— Emigration  to  Canada — His  Deportment  on  the  Voyage — Love  for 
the  Old  Songs — Arrival  in  Kingston — A  Scottish  Scene  of  '43. 

'^^J^'^  ROUDE  has  told  us  that  tliere  is  in  most  Scottish 
il^    families  a  desire  that  one  of  the  sons  shall  receive 

I 

^?'  ,r^'  a  liberal  education.  It  seems  to  have  been  so  in 
W'S^J^^^^  the  family  of  the  Mackenzies.  Alexander  had 
((f'K  always  felt  a  tliirst  for  knowledge.  He  was  a 
greedy  reader,  and  never  tired  of  poring  over  his 
books.  In  this  way,  with  his  prodigious  memory,  he  was  con- 
stantly storing  up  funds  of  most  valuable  information.  It 
was  his  own  wish  and  that  of  his  mother  and  the  rest  that  he 
sliould  obtain  what  is  known  as  "  advantages."  But  this  wish 
was  not  to  be  realised.  There  were  seven  children  and  the 
mother  to  be  provided  for,  and  the  brave,  manly  boy  resolved 
to  take  his  turn  at  wage-earning  with  the  rest.  So  at  about 
tlie  age  of  IG,  from  his  hard  preparatory  school  of  existence,  he 
entered  life's  university  by  binding  himself  with  a  builder  of 
the  name  of  John  Ireland,  of  Dunkeld,  to  learn  the  trade  of  a 
stonecutter.  Who  does  not  recall  in  these  circumstances,  with 
this  chosen  occupation,  but  with  these  desires  and  aspirations 
uni'ulfilled,  the  author  of  "  My  Schools  and  Schoolmasters,"  his 

51 


S2 


LIFE  OF  THE  JIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


countiynian,  Hurjli  Miller  ?  Wore  not  tlu'ir  cliar.'iciers  and 
their  tastes  and  followinffs  almost  identical  ?  One  of  the  most 
vivid  and  Avidoly-read  of  Hugh  Miller's  cliaptcrs  is  that  in 
which  he  tolls  the  stoiy  of  his  choice  of  a  calling-,  its  impelling 
motives,  and  his  unsatisfied  early  ambition  to  gratify  his  tastes 
in  otiier  ways  than  that  of  shaping  stone.  Though  the  pas- 
sage is  a  little  long,  and  pressed  as  we  are  for  space  in  these 
croY  chapters  of   events,  it  fits  the   case   of   Alexander 

Mackenzie  so  well,  with  the  one  exception  of  the  reference  to 
the  misspent  period  of  boyhood,  as  to  tempt  us  to  quote  it, 
with  but  small  abridgment. 

Says  Hugh  Miller:  "Finlay  was  away,  my  friend  of  the 
Doocot  Cave  was  away  ;  my  other  companions  were  all  scat- 
tered abroad  ;  my  mother,  after  a  long  widowhood  of  more 
than  eleven  years,  had  entered  into  a  second  marriage ;  and  I 
found  myself  standing  face  to  face  with  a  life  of  labor  and 
restraint.  The  prospect  appeared  dreary  in  the  extreme.  The 
nee  y  of  ever  toiling  from  morning  till  night,  and  from  one 
wev...  nd  to  another,  and  for  a  little  coarse  food  and  homely 
raiment,  seemed  to  be  a  dire  one,  and  fain  would  I  have 
avoided  it,  but  there  was  no  escape ;  and  so  I  determined  on 
being  a  mason.  ...  I,  however,  did  look,  even  at  this 
time,  notwithstanding  the  antecedents  of  a  sadly  misspent 
boyhood,  to  something  higher,  and  daring  to  believe  that 
literature  and,  mayhap,  natural  science,  were,  after  all,  my 
proper  vocations,  I  resolved  that  nmcli  of  my  leisure  \inio 
should  be  given  to  careful  observation,  and  the  study  of  our 
best  English  authors.  Fain  would  I  have  avoided  going  to 
school — that  best  and  noblest  of  all  schools,  save  the  Christian 
one,  in  which  Labor  is  the  teacher — in  which  the  ability  of 
being  useful  is  imparted,  and  the  si)irit  of  independence  comnui- 
nicated,  and  the  habit  of  persevering  ettbrt  acquired,  and  whicii 


Ills  ARRIVAL  IX  CAXADA. 


53 


is  more  moral  than  the  schools  in  which  philosophy  is  taught, 
and  greatly  more  happy  than  the  schools  which  prefer  to  teach 
only  the  art  of  enjoyment.  Noble,  upright,  self-relying  Toil, 
who  that  knows  thy  solid  worth  and  value  would  be  ashamed 
of  thy  hard  hands  and  thy  soiled  vestments,  and  thy  obscure 
tasks — thy  humble  cottage,  and  hard  couch,  and  homely  fare. 
Save  for  thee  and  thy  lessons,  man  in  society  would  every- 
where sink  into  a  sad  compound  of  the  fiend  and  the  wild 
beast,  and  this  fallen  world  would  be  as  certainly  a  moral  as 
a  natural  wilderness.  But  I  little  thought  of  the  excellency 
of  thy  character  and  of  thy  teachings  when,  with  a  heavy 
heart,  I  set  out  about  this  time,  on  a  morning  early  in  spring, 
to  take  my  first  lesson  from  thee  in  a  sandstone  quarry." 

The  studious  herdboy  had  certainly  read  Hugh  Miller ;  and 
the  elder  stonecutter's  noble  apostrophe  to  labor  must  have 
influenced  him  in  following  his  precepts  and  his  example. 

Young  Mackenzie  was  a  faithful  and  zealous  apprentice ; 
he  served  his  master  well,  acquired  a  complete  knowledge  of 
his  trade,  and  turned  himself  out  a  most  competent  workman 
when  he  was  even  yet  in  the  period  of  his  teens.  In  the  few 
years  that  he  had  passed  from  the  days  of  mere  childhood 
until  now,  the  sagacious  Scotch  lad  had  learned  by  heart  in  a 
stern  school  the  true  lessons  of  life,  the  first  of  which  is  to  win 
"  the  glorious  privilege,"  that  was  now  his  own,  "  of  being 
independent,"  and  to  acquire  those  talents  of  prudence,  self- 
discipline,  industry  and  sobriety  without  which  it  is  given  to 
no  one  to  achieve  the  best  results. 

He  could  not  have  been  more  than  three  j-ears  or  a  little 
more  under  indentures,  for  he  went  to  Mr.  Ireland  as  appren- 
tice when  he  was  about  16,  and  in  1841,  before  he  had 
reached  20,  he  was  working  at  Irvine  as  a  journeyman  stone- 
cutter. 


54 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


On  being  loosed  from  his  indentures  the  younf^  man  he<:fan 
to  look  around  him  i'or  employment ;  for  through  all  his  days 
ne  hated  to  be  idle.  In  Dunkeld  there  was  no  scope,  as 
there  was  little  building  there  of  any  kind.  But  in  the  wes*-; 
of  Scotland  the  Ayr  and  Glasgow  railroad  was  being  con- 
structed, and  this  involved  the  erection  of  bridges  and  culverts. 
And  so  the  young  lad,  when  barely  nineteen,  in  the  spring  of 
1841,  left  home  and  friends,  and  went  to  Irvine,  where  he  at 
once  got  emploj'ment  as  a  stonecutter  on  a  bridge  over  the 
river.  Before  this  time  he  had  been  an  enthusiastic  reader 
of  Burns,  and  now  it  was  his  privilege  to  be  in  Burns'  country, 
and  to  work  in  the  very  place  associated  with  the  name  of 
Burns,  who  was  a  craftsman  in  the  Masonic  Lodge  of  Irvine. 
Shortly  after  entering  upon  work  here,  Mr.  Mackenzie  took 
an  opportunity  of  visiting  the  home  and  haunts  of  the  poet, 
examining  with  a  curious  eye  the  auld  and  new  "Brigs  of 
Ayr,"  AUoway  Kirk,  and  "Ye  banks  and  braes  o'  bonnie 
Doon;"  filling  his  mind  afresh  with  many  a  noble  picture,  and 
warming  his  heart  with  some  of  the  richest  effusions  that  ever 
welled  forth  from  poet's  soul,  while  working  among  the  stouo 
and  mortar  during  the  day. 

Even  at  this  early  ti'as  he  had  begun  to  take  a  deep  interest 
in  the  political  history  of  his  country,  and  to  discuss  economic 
questions.  He  was  a  keen  observer  of  the  Chartist  movement ; 
he  attended  some  of  the  Chartist  meetings,  and  even  took  part 
in  the  debates.  He  was  well  accjuainted  with  the  celebrated  "six 
points,"  some  of  which  he  approved,  while  he  detected  the 
fallacy  of  others.  For  though  there  was  a  good  deal  of  the 
radical  in  his  composition,  he  could  perceive  both  the  strong 
and  the  weak  planks  of  the  Chartist  platform.  He  had  no 
sympathj''  whatever  with  the  extreme  measures  the  followers 
of  Ernest  Jones  were  ready  to  adopt,  and  so  he  never  asso- 
ciated himself  with  them. 


HIS  ARRIVAL  IN  CANADA. 


66 


Up  to  this  time  we  know  nothing  of  his  ivlif^ious  life.  He 
was  always  a  moral,  upright  lad,  reverential  toward  Divine 
things,  and  had  great  respect  for  all  good  men.  But  at  this 
period  of  the  history  of  the  Church  of  Scotland  there  was 
not  a  little  of  cold  formality  in  the  place  where  he  lived,  and 
it  is  probable  that  during  his  apprenticeship  he  had  met  much 
of  that  open  disregard  to  religion  which  characterised  the 
operative  mechanics  in  many  parts  of  the  country.  All  his 
life  his  moral  nature  craved  for  reality,  and  hated  pretence ; 
he  saw  through  hoUowness  on  any  subject  very  readily.  And 
now  in  Irvine  he  met  some  zealous  Baptists  of  the  Haldane 
school,  and,  attending  their  meetings,  he  came  under  the 
iniluence  of  their  teaching.  He  attached  himself  to  tlie  Bap- 
tist communion,  and  continued  in  it  ever  after.  In  all  things, 
however,  save  baptism,  he  remained  warmly  sympathetic  with 
the  Presbyterians,  and  of  late  years  it  was  the  subject  of  bap- 
tism only,  and  not  the  mode,  that  was  the  dividing  line  between 
him  and  his  former  church  relations.  Hence,  as  he  often  said, 
he  had,  in  a  measure,  to  make  his  religious  home  in  both 
churches,  his  old  associations  and  most  of  his  pi.'rsonal  friends 
being  in  the  I'resbyterian  Chui'ch.  When  in  his  former  home 
in  Sarnia  he  attended,  both  morning  and  evening,  the  Presby- 
terian church,  and  in  other  places  often  one  of  its  two  Sunday 
services.  He  was  never  charged  with  being  a  bigot.  So  far 
from  that,  ho  was  in  religion,  as  in  politics,  a  large-minded 
man,  readily  acknowledging  good  wheiever  he  saw  it,  and 
deeply  interested  in  all  social,  moral,  and  religious  movements. 
Ho  was  fond  of  (juoting,  especially  to  those  who  thought 
much  of  forms  and  creeds,  the  remark  of  Robert  Hall,  the 
celebrated  Er^^lisii  Bajjtist  divine,  that  he  would  do  a  good 
<l(ud  to  m..  wC  a  man  a  Christian,  but  would  hardU'  cross  the 
street  merely  to  make  him  a  Baptist. 


!i 


66 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAyDER  MACKEXZIE. 


While  in  Irvine  he  became  acquainted  with  a  family  of  the 
name  of  Neil.  Tlie  father  and  eldest  son  were  stonecutters, 
like  liimself.  Into  tliis  family  he  afterwards  married.  lu 
addition  to  the  other  members  of  the  Neil  household,  there 
were  two  daughters.  The  eldest,  Agnes,  was  married  to  a  JSlr* 
Steed ;  the  other,  Helen,  but  seventeen  years  of  age — an  at- 
tractive girl  of  good  mental  endowments — laid  hold  of  his 
heart,  and  ruled  supreme  in  it. 

He  spent  only  a  year  at  Irvine,  but  the  circumstances  of 
that  year  determined  his  life's  destiny,  the  destinies  of  his 
whole  family,  and  was  pregnant  with  influence  on  the  des- 
tinies of  millions  of  his  race  in  a  distant  country. 

In  1842,  when  the  young  stonecutter  was  twenty  years  of 
age,  the  Neil  family  conceived  the  idea  of  attempting  to  bettor 
their  fortunes  by  emigrating  to  Canada.  Alexander  Macken- 
zie, who  looked  upon  himself,  and  was  looked  upon  by  them, 
as  virtually  a  member  of  the  family,  resolved  on  accompany- 
ing them.  They  sailed  in  the  good  ship,  Momirch,  a  passenger 
sailing  vessel,  from  Greenock,  on  5th  of  April,  and  after  an 
adventurous  passage  of  thirty-two  days,  encountering  icebergs 
on  the  way,  by  one  of  which  they  were  nearly  wrecked,  they 
arrived  in  Montreal  on  the  Gth  of  May.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Steed 
were  also  of  the  party.  The  Monarch  carried  seventy  pas- 
sengers. The  Neil  party  preferred  taking  a  passenger  to  an 
ordinary  emigrant  ship,  so  as  to  secure  greater  seclusion  and 
comfort.  On  the  voyage,  worship  was  daily  celebrated  by 
this  family,  and  Alexander  Mackenzie  took  his  part  in  the 
liymna  and  prayers.  A  fellow-passenger,  who  is  still  living  in 
Kingston,  says  that  while  the  other  passengers  were  enjoying 
themselves  at  various  games  on  board  the  vessel,  Alexander 
was  generally  to  bo  found  aloof  in  some  corner,  reading  a 
book.  "  He  was  retired  in  manner,  but  always  willing  to  give 
advice  if  asked." 


Ills  ARRIVAL  IN  CANADA. 


57 


Before  embarking  for  Canada,  Alexander  was  unable  for 
want  of  means  to  visit  his  family  at  Dunkeld.  They  gave 
him,  however,  the  best  send-ott' they  could  afford  in  the  shape 
of  a  substantial  chest  of  clothes  and  other  necessaries,  got 
ready  by  his  mother,  and  packed  l)y  his  elder  brothers,  Robert 
and  Hope. 

He  had  much  pleasure  on  the  voyage  in  listening  to  the  sing- 
ing of  Scotch  songs,  in  wiiich  some  of  the  younger  members 
of  the  party  were  proficient;  for  in  music,  and  especially  in  the 
beautiful  lyrics  of  his  country,  he  took  pleasure  to  the  end  of 
his  days.  During  the  weeks  preceding  his  last  illness  nothing 
could  gratify  him  more  tlian  for  his  grand-daughter  to  play 
and  "sing  the  auld  Scots'  songs — the  songs  he  loved  so  well." 

Just  three  weeks  before  his  deaHi,  letters  wci'e  received  from 
two  fellow-passenger!;';  who  liad  learned  of  his  illness,  and 
after  a  silence  of  50  years  had  written  from  dift'erent  and  dis- 
tant parts  of  Canada,  expressing  their  sympathy,  and  recalling 
the  incidents  of  their  voyage  together  across  the  sea.  Hv- 
remembered  both  men  perfectly,  though  he  had  never  seen  av 
heard  of  them  before  or  after,  and  gave  instructions  to  reply 
to  their  kind  notes,  and  to  be  warmly  remembered  to  them. 

Thus,  with  song  and  story,  book  and  musing,  the  time  of 
the  voyage  was  agreeably  spent.  When  the  vessel  entered  the 
f;ulf,  and  came  in  sight  of  the  long,  low,  dreary-looking  i.*^  md 
of  Anticosti,  densely  clothed  with  spruce  that  was  dwarfed  by 
the  distance,  Mr.  Mackenzie  remarked  that  he  had  seen  better 
heather  growing  on  the  Scotch  hillsides. 

When  the  Monarch  got  to  Quebec  ho  despatched  a  long 
letter  to  his  mother  and  fanniy,  telling  of  his  safe  arrival,  and 
of  the  incidents  by  the  way.  In  that  letter,  too,  he  poured 
out  to  the  dear  ones  at  home  all  the  love  of  a  tender  heart. 

He  took   occasion  while    in  the  ancient  city  to  visit  the 


5S 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Plains  of  Altrah.am,  wliore  ho  marked  the  precipice  up  which 
the  Briti.sh  troops  had  scrainl)led  under  cover  of  that  event- 
ful night,  and  viewed  tlie  scene  where  the  jjreat  engagement 
was  fouglit  in  whicli"fell  Wolfe,  victorious."  By  the  obser- 
vations he  made  to  a  companion,  he  showed  that  he  was  min- 
utely acquainted  with  the  incidents  of  the  battle,  and  of  the 
history  of  the  country  at  the  time  it  was  fought.  On  his 
return  from  the  plains  he  introduced  himself  to  a  Scotch 
soldier  who  took  him  through  the  defences.  He  was  like  a 
schoolboy  let  loose  on  a  holiday,  and  utilised  to  the  utmost 
every  minute  of  time  he  had  to  spend  in  this  historic  and 
interesting  cit}'. 

Next  day  the  vessel  saikd  up  the  river  to  Montreal, 
where  he  made  arrangements  with  a  Frencinnan,  captain  of 
a  battue,  to  take  the  family  and  himself  to  Kingston.  In 
after  life  he  reverted  with  pleasure  to  the  time  he  spent 
in  Kingston,  and  some  of  the  acquaintances  he  formed  there 
were  his  life-long  friends;  among  them,  ]3r.  Machar,  and  Rev. 
Wm.  Gregg,  now  Professor  (Jrcgg,  Knox  College,  Toronto, 
whose  ministry  Mr.  Mackenzie  often  attended.  The  ties  then 
formed  becanu>  stronger  as  time  passed  on,  and  thereafter  each 
entertained  for  the  other  a  high  measure  of  respect.  Mr. 
Mackenzie's  family  tiiought  it  hiting  that  Dr.  Oregg  should  be 
asked  to  conduct  the  services  at  the  funeral  in  Saruia,  and 
were  much  gratitied  at  his  consenting  to  do  so. 

In  IS^;},  the  year  after  the  departure  of  Mr.  Mackenzie  for 
Canada,  a  scene  of  dramatic  interest  which  is  illustrative  of 
the  religious  life  of  Scotland,  took  place  in  the  old  town 
of  Dunkeld.  Prior  to  that  date  the  only  church  in  Scotland 
was  its  National  Church.  But  in  1843  the  great  Free  Church 
movement,  which  was  known  as  the  disrui)tion,  culminated. 
The   much-hated   matter   of  patronai^e  was   the  cause,     The 


m-  *  i^^ 


HIS  ARRIVAL  IN  CANADA. 


69 


laiided  proprietors  had  the  church  patronage,  and  appointed 
the  pai'ish  ministers.  They  were  thus  designated  "intrusion- 
ists  " — intruders  within  the  sacred  domain  of  religion  and  oi: 
conscience.  The  contest  was  a  very  bitter  one,  and  was 
sliared  in,  not  alone  by  the  sires  and  matrons,  but  the  young 
men  and  maidens,  and  the  very  children,  whether  they  under- 
stood anything  about  the  question  or  not. 

One  of  the  old  Kirk  ministers  to  follow  the  lead  of  Dr. 
Chalmers  in  this  struggle  was  the  Rev.  John  Mackenzie,  who 
had  up  to  that  time  conducted  his  services  in  the  parish 
church — in  ancient  days  the  Ro)uan  Catholic  cathedral  church 
— of  Dunkeld.  He  left  church  and  manse  and  everything 
behind  him  for  the  sake  of  his  cherished  principles  of  religious 
freedom.  Who  of  his  former  hearers  in  the  old  town  were  to 
take  example  from  him  and  continue  as  his  flock  was  now  the 
question  for  these  people  to  determine.  As  they  were  divided* 
a  canvass  was  necessary.  The  younger  children  of  the  widow 
Mackenzie,  who  remained  at  home,  well  remembered  the  cir- 
cumstances of  the  interest  excited  by  the  good  pastor  coming 
down  their  street  in  Dunkeld,  visiting  in  turn  each  of  tho 
houses  of  the  parishioners,  the  earnest  reading  of  the  Scrip- 
tures, the  solemn  prayer,  and  then  the  all-important  question: 
"  intrusion  or  non-intrusion  ?"  ami  how,  without  having  pre- 
viously given  any  intimation  of  her  intentions,  when  their 
mother  said  "  non-intrusion,"  they  rushed  into  tho  streets, 
tossed  up  their  hats  and  gave  the  non-intrusionists  there 
assembled,  occasion  for  another  hurrah!  Such  scenes  can 
never  be  forgotten. 


||l. 


••  From  HCfiic's  like  tlicsc  oM  Scotia's  j^raiulcnr  apringa, 
'liuiL  Miiikoa  her  loved  ut  home,  levined  ubroad  ; 
riincea  uiul  lords  are  hut  the  l)reath  of  kings, 
'  An  honest  man's  tiie  nol)k'st  work  of  (Jou,'  " 


'  ■  iu-'-ijimmmmmmm' 


60 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MAGKEXZIE. 


We  stop  in  our  narrative  at  this  point  to  give  a  very  brief 
sketch  of  the  state  of  parties  and  issues  when  Mr,  Mackenzie 
came  to  this  country,  and  what  they  were  from  the  time 
of  his  coming  to  Canada  in  1812  until  he  entered  Parliament 
in  1861. 


CHAPTER  III. 

TWENTY   YEARS   OF   EXCITEMENT. 

Political  and  Histcrical  Sketch — From  his  arrival  in  184'2  lo  entering  Parlia- 
ment in  1801 — Tlie  U.  E.  Loyalists — Ihe  Clergy  Reserves —Louia  J.  Papin- 
eau  and  Wm.  Lyon  Mackenzie — Robert  Gourlay — Barnabas  liidwell — The 
Rebellion — Baldwin,  Draper,  Morin,  Lafontaine — Sir  Charles  Metcalfe — 
Hazy  Notions  of  Responsible  Government — Lord  Elgin — The  Rebellion 
Losses — The  Governor-General  Mobbed — Sacking  and  Burning  of  the  Par- 
liament Buildings — George  Brown — Dr.  Rolph  and  Malcolm  Cameron — 
Francis  Hincks — John  A.  Macdonald — The  Seigniorial  Tcnui'o — Representa- 
tion by  Population — The  Double  Majority — Rapid  Growth  of  Upper  Canada 
— "  French  Domination." 


ROM  the  signing  of  the  Treaty  of  Paris,  in  17G3,  to 
the  passing  of  the  Quebec  Act,  in  1774,  military 
rule  prevailed  in  Canada.  In  the  lal'-er  j'car, 
under  the  Quebec  Act,  a  Council  was  appointed 
by  the  Crown  with  the  power  to  make  all  colonial 
laws  or  ordinances.  By  the  Constitutional  Act  of 
1791,  the  colony  was  divided  into  the  Provinces  of  Upper  and 
Lcnver  Canada,  each  having  its  own  Legislature  of  two  Houses 
and  its  own  Governor.  In  each  the  Legislative  Assembly  was 
made  elective.  The  members  of  the  Legislative  Councils, 
however,  were  practically  king-appointed,  and  held  their  seats 
lor  life;  and  the  Governors,  wdio  were  also  king-appointed, 
ruled  with  the  help  of  king-ap])ointed  Executive  Councillors, 
who  owed  no  responsibility  to  the  elective  chamber.  The 
Governor,  Legislative  Councils,  and  Cabinet  had  therefore  all 
the  power — the  people's  house  of  parliament,  on!}'"  its  shadow. 

Gl 


62 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


It  is  surprising  that  cnliglitened  statesmen  like  Pitt  and 
Burke  did  not  see  in  their  measure  creatincf  tliese  Provinces, 
on  this  model,  the  many  evils  it  was  destined  to  inflict  upon 
the  infant  colonies,  and  the  struggle  for  popular  rights  which 
would  be  certain  to  grow  out  of  it.  The  dangers  ahead  were 
visible  enough  to  the  far-piercing  eye  of  Fox.  Says  Watson, 
in  his  "  Constitutional  History  of  Canada :  "  "  Almost  evcry- 
tliing  to  which  he  took  exception  proved,  in  the  after  years  of 
Canadian  history,  a  source  of  heart-burnin<T  to  the  people,  and 
of  imminent  peril  to  the  State.  He  opposed  a  Legislative 
Council  appointed  by  the  Crown  ;  the  appropriation  of  public 
lands  for  ecclesiastical  purposes ;  the  division  of  the  Province, 
and  the  consequent  isolation  of  the  inhabitants  of  both  races. 
The  first  two  of  these  questions  was  destined,  for  over  half  a 
century,  to  be  the  political  plagues  of  Canada,  and  the  chronic 
perplexity  of  Great  Britain.  The  third  question  is  left  to 
time." 

Fitting  soil  had  thus  been  formed  for  the  reception  therein 
of  so  monarchical  a  body  as  those  who  were  too  loyal  to 
remain  in  the  thirteen  States  of  the  neighboring  Union  after 
they  had  throvm  off  their  allegiance  to  Great  Britain,  and  who 
then  sought  refuge  in  Upper  Canada.  These  persons  were 
designated  "  United  Empire  Loyalists,"  and  through  the  large 
grants  that  were  made  to  tliem  of  the  Crown  territory,  they 
became  the  landed  gentry  of  the  Province. 

An  aristocratic  band  of  rulers  would  have  been  wantinff  in 
dignity  and  exclusiveness  liad  not  a  state  church  been  pro- 
vided. This,  too,  was  supplied  by  the  endowme:  t  of  Anglican 
rectories,  and  the  setting  apart  of  the  seventh  portion  of  the 
ungranted  land,  or  two  million  five  hundred  thousand  acres, 
as  reserves  for  the  maintenance  of  a  Protestant  clergy  in 
Upper  Canada. 


TWEXTY  YEARS  OF  EXCITEMEXT. 


63 


We  sliall  see  that  the  establishment  of  the  "  Family  Com- 
pact," as  the  oligarchists  were  called,  the  founding  of  the  rec- 
tories, and  the  formation  of  the  Clergy  Reserves,  were  the 
causes  of  gi-eat  trouble  to  the  growing  people. 

The  leaders  in  the  demand  for  equal  rights  were,  in  Upper 
Canada,  William  Lyon  Mackenzie,  and  in  Lower  Canada, 
Louis  Joseph  Papineau,  and  in  neither  Province  was  any  por- 
tion of  these  rights  wrested  from  the  hands  of  the  colonial 
tyrants  until  the  people  had  risen  in  rebellion.  There  were 
many  painful  struggles  which  led  up  to  this  most  humiliating 
of  all  the  events  in  Canadian  liistory. 

Use  and  wont  had  accustomed  the  first  settlers  of  Upper 
Canada  to  the  doles  and  charities  of  a  paternal  government. 
The  Province  in  1791  comprised  but  20,000  of  a  population, 
and  the  people  had,  of  necessity,  in  order  to  make  a  start 
in  these  wilds,  to  accept  aid  from  the  Government  in  tlie 
shape,  not  only  of  implements  for  subduing  and  cultivating 
the  land,  but  also  of  food  and  clothing. 

Twenty  years  later,  the  census  exhibited  a  considerable 
growth,  the  number  of  souls  in  Upper  Canada  being  in  1811, 
77,000,  and  among  them  were  people  who  were  of  an  enquiring 
turn  of  mind — who  asked  questions,  and  who  were  not  wholly 
satisfied  with  the  answers  given  them.  That  these  people, 
however,  were  as  loyal  as  the  United  Empire  Loyalists  who 
governed  them,  and  as  resolute  as  they  to  defend  their  homes 
uud  country,  was  seen  in  the  measures  they  cheerfully  took 
on  the  outbreak  of  the  war  with  the  United  States  in  1812. 
Li  both  Provinces  they  trained  themselves  to  the  use  of  arms, 
spent  their  money  on  munitions  of  war,  and  risked  their  lives 
in  the  service  of  the  King,  for  whom  they  were  foremost  in 
achieving  the  victories  of  Queenston  Heiglits  and  Ciuiteau- 
guay.     Yet  the  Loyalists  par  excellence,  who  fought  by  their 


€4 


LIFE  OF  THE  JfOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


side,  made  issue  with  tiicse  brave  men  on  the  question  of  their 
political  creed,  dcnyiug  them  the  most  elementary  ri^lits  per- 
taininpj  to  freemen. 

In  1817  the  Assembly  presumed  to  enter  upon,  among  other 
causes  of  complaint,  the  consideration  of  the  grievance  so 
long  borne,  which  had  arisen  from  the  setting  apart  of  the 
clergy  lands,  whereby  continuous  settlement  was  prevented ; 
but  the  members  were,  in  Cromwellian  fashion,  summarily 
sent  about  their  business  by  the  appearance  of  the  Gover- 
nor with  the  mandate  of  prorogation.  Next  year,  for  pre- 
suming on  enforcing  the  right  to  petition,  Robert  Gourlay 
was  cast  into  Niagara  gaol.  In  1821,  for  the  crime  charged  of 
being  a  United  States  citizen,  and  of  having  committed  misde- 
meanors before  coming  to  the  province,  Barnabas  Bidwell  was 
expelled  from  Parliament,  and  a  law  was  passed  requiring  a 
residence  in  Canada  for  seven  years,  on  the  part  of  a  foreigner, 
before  he  could  qualify  for  the  Legislature.  Tlie  Upper 
Chamber,  the  same  session,  denied  the  right  to  the  Wesleyan 
Metliodists  to  perform  the  ceremony  of  marriage.  In  1825, 
the  Tories  gutted  and  destroyed  the  printing  office  of  William 
Lyon  Mackenzie.  I;i  1831,  Mackenzie  suffered  by  expulsion, 
the  fate,  ten  yeoTS  before,  of  Bidwell.  Next  year,  he  was  ex- 
pelled again.  In  1834,  after  he  had  been  elected  Mayor  of  To- 
ronto, and  while  in  England  with  a  petition  for  the  redress  of 
grievances,  he  was  a  third  time  expelled.  On  two  occasions 
subsequently  he  was  the  victim  of  the  same  kind  of  tyranny. 

It  was  by  acts  like  these  that  the  way  was  paved  for  tlie 
rebellion  of  1837,  in  which  Papincau,  as  leader  of  the 
"  patriots"  of  Lower  Canada,  promised  his  co-operation. 

The  followers  of  Papineau  were  regarded  in  the  West  as 
anti-British,  and  consequently  the  majority  of  the  people  of 
Upper  Canada,  who  at  that  time  numbered  nearly  four  hun- 
<lred  thousand,  sided  with  the  Governor,  the  hare-brained  Sir 


I 


TWEXTY  YEARS  OF  EXCITEMENT. 


C5 


Francis  Bond  Head,  looking  upon  the  coml»ined  movement  in 
Upper  and  Lower  Canada  as  an  attempt  to  sever  the  Imperial 
connection.  Some  cause  was  given  for  this  contention  by 
appeals  from  tlie  exasperated  Mackenzie  to  the  people  to  take 
up  arms,  in  order  to  the  throwing  off  of  the  British  yoke, 
and  the  achievement  of  the  independence  of  the  country.  Tlie 
circumstances  attending  the  actual  resort  to  armed  force,  both 
in  Upper  and  Lower  Canada,  and  the  lamentable  consequen- 
ces, ending  in  the  failure  of  these  rash  movcmeuts,  need  not 
be  here  repeated. 

Of  the  merits  of  tlie  insurrection  itself  mucli  has  been  said 
and  written  in  the  iifty  odd  years  which  have  since  elapsed. 
One  of  the  latest  public  writers  on  the  subject,  who  is  least 
friendly  to  Mackenzie,  has  pronounced  the  following  deliberate 
judgment  on  the  movement :  "  In  the  face,"  he  says,  "  of  such 
facts  as  are  now  admitted  by  persons  of  every  shade  of  political 
opinion,  it  is  impossible  to  say  that  the  movoin^nit  was  unjusti- 
fiable.    Nor  can  it  truly  be  said  that  tliu  price  paid  for  the 
benefits  it  conferred  was  out  of  proportion  to  those  benefits. 
.    .    .     Public  opinion  has  long  since  done  justice  to  the  men 
wlio  struggled  to  obtain  for  Canada  the  advantages  of  the 
EngHish  constitution.       Everybody  now  admits  that  in   the 
long  contest  which  culminated  in  the  reunion  of  the  provinces 
the  Reformers  were  in  the  right  and   their  opponents  in  the 
wrong.     .     .     .     The  essential  advantages  of  free  government 
liiive  long  been  ours.     They  would  probably  liave  been  ours 
ere  tliis  if  there  had  been  no  Rebellion,  but  our  i'atliers  would 
have  liad  to  wait  for  them,  and  they  had  already  waited  long. 
Feeble  and  rash  as  the  movement  undoubtedly  was,  it  hastened 
tho  inexituble  end,  and  the  benefits  remain  to  us  and  to  our 
chililien.     Doubtless  there  are  those  among  us  who  believe 
that  even  such  numifold  abuses  as  existed  half  a  century  ago 


1 


LIFE  OF  THE  110 X.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


in  Upper  Canada  wore  preferable  to  Rebellion.  But  even 
such  persons  will  hardly  deny  that  great  allowance  should  be 
made  for  those  who  took  up  arms.  Others,  who  have  less 
reverence  for  authority,  will  echo  the  aspiration  of  Sir  John 
Falstaff:  'God  be  thanked  for  these  rebels!"* 

Judged  by  the  light  of  suljsequent  occurrences,  we  can  well 
believe  that  this  spurt  of  civil  war — for  such  it  really  was — 
hastened  the  redress  of  grievances  which  the  agitation  of  the 
people  on  constitutional  lines  had  utterly  failed  to  secure. 
The  Home  Government  became  aroused  to  the  dangers  of  the 
situation  in  the  two  Canadas,  and  at  once  prepared  to  move 
in  the  direction  of  the  measures  which,  on  the  recommenda- 
tion of  Lord  Durham,  gave  the  provinces  the  Act  of  Union 
of  1840. 

This  fjreat  charter  of  Canadian  liberty  brought  with  it  re- 
sponsible  government,  and  the  independence  of  the  judiciary. 
The  clergy  reserve  and  rectories  question  still,  however,  re- 
mained a  bone  of  contention,  and  continued  so  until  185-i,  when 
the  clergy  reserves  were  secularised,  and  the  rectorial  claims 
were  commuted. 

We  are  now  nearing  the  period  of  1842,  when  Mr.  Alexander 
j^lackenzie  appeared  upon  the  scene. 

Kingston,  the  city  chosen  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  and  his  little 
party  for  their  place  of  abode,  had  become  in  the  previous  year 
the  seat  of  the  Government.  Parties  were  ^^ery  evenly  divided 
in  the  Legislative  Assembly  of  the  united  Provinces,  as  the  re- 
sult of  the  election  of  1841,  and  the  Cabinet  was  a  compound 
of  such  diverse  elements  as  Baldwin,  Sullivan,  Daly  and 
Draper.  If  anj-thing,  the  Reformers  had  the  majority.  In 
1841,  the  municipal  system  was  established  in  s})ite  of  tht- 
sneers  of  the  Family  Compact  faction,  that  the  municipal  coun- 
cils of  the  country  were  simply  so  many  "  sucking  Republics.' 


TiVhWrr  YEARS  OF  EXCITEMENT. 


67 


The  waning  influence  of  that  faction,  as  a  consequence  of  the 
uuitju  and  tlie  (growth  of  population  and  public  sentiment,  now 
led  them,  under  the  guise  of  Conservatives,  to  try  milder 
measures,  and  things  might  liave  gone  on  with  tolerable  smooth- 
ness under  the  beneficent  influence  of  Lord  Sydenham,  but  for 
his  unfortunate  death  on  the  19th  September,  1841,  and  the 
death  also  of  Sir  Charles  Bagot,  his  successor,  in  May,  1843, 
when  the  country  became  atilieted  by  the  evil  genius  of  Sir 
Charles  Metcalfe. 

Sir  Charles  found  in  power,  and  in  possession  of  the  confi- 
dence of  the  Legislative  Assendily,  Mr.  Baldwin  and  Mr. 
Hincks,  with  Messrs.  Lafontaine,  Morin,  and  Aylwin  as  their 
colleagues.  The  Governor-General  was  not  long  in  mani- 
festing his  tendencies,  which  it  was  feared  from  the  first  would 
be  to  stem  the  current  of  popular  liberty.  He  insisted  on  his  pre- 
rogative to  make  appointments,  without  the  necessity  of  seek- 
ing the  advice  of  his  Cabinet,  and  thereupon  the  Government 
of  Mr.  BaMwin  resigned.  Mr.  Baldwin  was  further  advanced 
ill  the  principles  of  constitutionalism  than  either  Sir  Charles 
Metcalfe  or  the  bulk  of  the  Canadian  people.  The  Governor- 
General  held  it  to  be  a  degradation  of  his  office  to  allow  party 
leaders  to  make  appointments,  and  maintained  that,  by  taking 
these  appointments  into  his  own  hands,  the  appwintees  would 
bo  higher  in  character  and  truer  servants  of  the  State.  He 
also  considered  that  the  surrender  of  the  principle  he  contended 
fur  would  be  the  abnegation  of  one  of  the  prerogatives  of  the 
Crown.  In  view  of  his  narrowness  of  vision,  and  his  inex- 
perience in  the  government  of  a  free  people,  it  must  be  remem- 
bered that  Sir  Charles  Metcalfe's  previous  training  as  an  ad- 
ministrator had  been  in  the  civil  service  of  India,  and  in  dis- 
ci large  of  the  functions  of  Governor  of  Jamaica. 

The  generally  prevailing  ideas  of   responsible  government 


'!< 


68 


LIFE  OF  THE  11  OX.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


were  so  lia;^}'  that  tlic  proposition  tliat  public  ofTiccrs  shoulJ 
be  servants  of  the  Crown,  and  not  of  the  Minister,  was  calcu- 
lated to  make  an  undue  impression  upon  the  jjopular  mind. 

In  the  perplexing  circumstances  which  arose  out  of  a  con- 
flict of  a  Governor  with  a  Ministry  supported  by  a  majority  in 
the  popular  House,  on  a  ([uostiori  of  patronage,  party  leaders 
did  not  know  how  to  proceed,  l)ut  aftur  a  long  interregnum,  dur- 
ing wdiich  nobody  but  a  figun'-huad  could  be  got  to  take  any 
of  the  various  offices,  Mr.  Draper  stepped  into  the  breach;  the 
Cabinet  was  filled;  an  ap[)(al  was  made  to  the  people;  and, 
aided  by  the  inlluence  of  the  Crcjwn,  Mr.  Draper  succeeded  at 
the  polls  by  a  narrow  majority. 

The  new  Parliament  met  in  Montreal  in  November  of  1S44, 
with  Mr.  Baldwin  in  opposition,  and  the  Governimnt  main- 
tained a  precarious  existence  until  another  appral  was  made  in 
January  of  1848,  when  the  l^aldwin-Lafontaine  Govennuent 
took  the  reins,  ^Ir.  Draper,  "  Sweet  William,"  retiring  to  tiie 
bench.  Meanwhile,  Sir  Charles  Metcalfe,  wlio  liad  been  made  a 
Baron,  had  been  compelled  to  ask  for  his  recall  on  account  of 
ill-health,  and  the  Government  was  administered  ly  the  Earl  of 
Cathcart,  the  commander  of  the  forces,  vuitil  the  arrival  of 
Lord  Elgin,  as  successor  to  Lord  Metcalfe,  in  January,  1847. 

The  elections  of  1S48  brought  in  an  Assem})ly  and  aCiovt'rn- 
nient  in  accordance  with  Lord  Elgin's  own  views  of  what  con- 
stitutionalism really  meant. 

During  Mr.  Draper's  administi'ation,  he  was  placed  in  a  di- 
lemma by  the  claims  which  were  made  \\\)0\\  the  public  treas- 
ury by  persons  wdio  had  suffered  losses  in  both  Provinces  at  the 
time  of  the  rebellion.  The  difficulty  was  in  determining  who 
were  trnly  loyal.  Li  this  category  were  naturally  })laced  by 
Mr.  Drainer's  Ministry  most  of  the  sufferers  fi-om  the  rebellion 
in  Upper  Canada ;  and  most  of  those  who  had  sull'ei'ed  in  Lower 


o 

o 


— 


3 

n 


0 

«t 

0 

3 


(«)  i 


)k 


I 


I 


TWENTY  YEABS  OF  EXCITEMENT. 


Caiimla — a  Province  full  of  "i-oIk'Is" — \\(ro  as  natui'ally  ex- 
cluded. The  conse(|uence  was  tiiat  the  iiideiiiuity  jNivcii  totiie 
people  of  the  Eastern  Province  was  re^^arded  hy  thcia  as  so 
small  and  inadequate  as  not  to  be  worthy  their  acceptance, 
while  the  Loyalists  in  the  Western  Province  were  dissatisfied 
that  such  a  nest  of  "rebels"  should  receive  any  public  ai<l 
whatever. 

In  the  second  session  of  Mr.  P>aldwin's  Parliament,  in  1S4'), 
Mr.  Lafontaine,  his  colleaffue,  introduced  and  carried,  a^'.iinst 
much  opposition,  a  measure  to  |)ay  the  balance  of  the  cdiii- 
pensation  claimed  to  be  justly  due  foi-  the  loss  of  jiroperty  by 
the  rebellion  in  Lower  Canada.  This  ^^'ive  ris(;  to  intense  ex- 
citement in  Upper  Cana<la,  and  also  in  Montreal,  wht-re  the 
Loyalists  raised  the  cry  of  "  French  domination,"  rather  than 
submit  to  which,  they  de('lar<'<l  in  tln-ii-  wi-utli,  they  wouM 
seek  annexation.  'I'hcy  trusted  io  I^ord  VA\(\n  withholdin<^ 
his  assent,  and  when  this  hoi)e  was  f^^one,  and  he  left  tin;  bill 
to  its  operation,  molts  as.sembled,  cov<;red  him  with  evc-ry 
kin<l  of  insult  and  pelted  him  with  missiles,  ending  their 
orgies  V)y  wrecking  the  furniture  of  tlu;  [larliament  buildinj^s, 
and  burnin<r  the  building's  to  the  ground.  'J'liesc  jicts  of  \  io- 
lence  caused  the  removal  of  the  (Jov(.'rnment  to  Toronto, 
which,  from  that  time,  shared  its  advanta^fes  alternately  with 
Quebec,  until  its  permanent  location  in  Ottawa.  Parliament 
sat  lor  many  a  lon^,  weary  day  and  ni^dit  in  the  I'fil-brick 
pile  of  dreary  and  unhealthy  buildin<,rs  in  Front-street,  To- 
ronto, to  be  iKJW  at  last  abandone(l  for  the  ma<^niiHceiit  struc- 
ture nearinj^  c(jmpletion   in  the  (.Queen's   I'ark. 

The  most  serious  of  the  agitations  for  some  years  to  como 
was  that  having  for  its  object  the  abolition  of  the  I'eetories 
an<l  the  secularisation  of  the  (Jler^y  lleserves.  'I'he  l!;i|il\vin- 
Lal'ontaine  Government  declined  to  accede  to  the  de'iiaml  of 


72 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


their  more  advanced  outside  supporters  to  deal  with  this  ques- 
tion, and  in  1850,  Mr.  Brown,  with  his  friends,  withdrew  from 
the  Government  their  support. 

The  difficulty  with  the  Upper  Canadian  Liberal  leaders  in 
those  days,  in  legislating  on  the  Clergy  Reserves,  was  in  con- 
verting to  their  views  their  Lower  Canadian  allies.  As  with 
the  question  of  representation  by  population,  which  was  to 
become  a  burning  question  a  few  years  later,  the  two  Pro- 
vinces were  unable  to  reach  an  agreement ;  for  the  Liberals 
as  well  as  the  Conservatives  in  that  Province  were  bound  to 
maintain  the  endowment,  which,  in  Lower  Canada,  amounted 
to  nearly  a  million  of  acres.  The  more  fiery  spirits  in  the 
Liberal  ranks  in  Upper  Canada  were  impatient,  and  would 
not  wait.  The  question,  however,  was  merely  one  of  time; 
for  the  handwriting  was  so  clearly  seen  upon  the  wall  that 
Dr.  Strachan,  Bishop  of  Toronto,  warned  his  clergy,  in  his 
charge  delivered  to  them  in  May  of  1851,  that  they  had  to 
gird  up  their  loins  to  meet  the  impending  change.  "  The 
necessity,"  he  said,  "is  upon  us  ;  there  is  now  no  alternative." 
"  There  is  nothing  of  moment  left  us  but  the  voluntary  prin- 
ciple." 

The  attitude  of  Mr.  Brown  on  the  question  is  seen  in  the 
position  he  took  before  a  public  audience  in  Toronto  in  the 
same  year.  "  I  contend  that  the  voluntary  principle  brings  a 
purer  gospel  to  mankind  than  national  establishments.  It 
matters  not  whether  you  regard  the  connection  of  Church  and 
State  under  the  pomp  of  prelacy,  or  the  less  pernicious  form 
of  clerical  stipendiarism,  the  system  raises  a  barrier  between 
the  pastor  and  his  people.  .  .  .  Establishments  make 
religion  a  matter  of  party  politics — the  Church  becomes  the 
source  of  endless  discord — and,  perhaps,  more  infidels  are  pro- 
duced by  the  exhibition  of  Christian  pastors  scrambling  for 


TU'EXTY  YEARS  OF  EXCITEMEXT. 


78 


the  loaves  and  fishes,  while  they  are  preaching  their  worth- 
lessness,  than  from  any  other  cause.  The  very  preaching  of 
an  established  church  is  cold  and  lifeless."  He  concluded  by 
declaring  that  there  was  no  middle  ground  ;  that  theirs  must 
be  the  resolute  determination  to  uproot  the  whole  fabric — to 
leave  not  a  vestige  of  it  in  existence ;  and  that  they  had  to 
keep  ever  before  them  the  goal  they  must  reach  :  "  No  re- 
serves!— no  rectories! — no  sectarian  education! — no  ecclesias- 
tical corporations  ! — no  sectarian  money  grants  ! — no  sectarian 
preferences  whatever  ! " 

In  1851,  Mr.  Baldwin  met  with  an  adverse  vote  from  Upper 
Canadian  members  on  a  resolution  looking  to  the  abolition  of 
the  Court  of  Chancery,  and  rather  tiian  rule  with  a  merely 
sectional  majority — not  having  a  "  double  majority,"  which 
was  held  to  be  essential  to  the  life  of  a  Ministry  from  the 
union  of  1841  until  the  elections  of  1857 — he  resigned.  Mr. 
Hincks  then  took  the  lend,  with,  as  liis  colleagues,  two  ad- 
vanced Liberals  in  the  persons  of  Dr.  Ilolph  and  Mr.  Malcolm 
Cameron.     In  the  general  election  which  followed  Mr.  Bald- 


win lost  his  scat.  There  was  at  the  same  election  a  contest 
in  Haldimand  between  two  notable  men,  Mr.  George  Brown 
and  Mr.  William  Lyon  Mackenzie,  in  which  Mr.  Mackenzie 
was  the  victor.  These  changt'S  in  parties  and  in  the  Govern- 
inent,  as  may  reasonably  be  sujiposed,  gave  rise  to  much  per- 
sonal rancour. 


I 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Tlic  Hincks  administration  remained  in  power  until  1854. 
In  the  summer  of  that  year  it  appealed  to  the  country,  but 
Mr.  Hincks  was  deserted  hy  some  of  his  friends,  and  the  Gov- 
ernment was  defeated  on  the  assembling  of  the  new  parlia- 
liament  in  tiio  following  September.  !lr.  Hincks  had  his 
revenge  on  the  desi;rters  by  promoting  a  coalition  cabinet, 
though  he  did  not  himself  enter  it,  with  Sir  Allan  McNab  at 
its  head,  and  Mr.  John  A.  Macdonald  as  one  of  its  members. 
The  Liberals,  who  had  j(jined  with  the  Conservatives  in  de- 
feating Mr.  Hincks,  were  still  more  strongly  in  opposition 
to  the  new  combination. 

Much  of  importance  transpired  during  the  administi'ation 
of  Mr.  Hincks.  The  (Ji-and  Trunk  Railway  and  otlu-r  railway 
companies  were  incor[)orated ;  the  IVlunicipal  Loan  Fund  was 
established,  giving  the  credit  of  the  Go\  ernment,  to  a  limited 
extent,  to  municipalities  for  borrowings  for  local  works,  which, 
it  is  needless  to  say,  led  to  extravngance  and  losses  ;  the  par- 
liamentary representation  of  each  of  the  provinces  was 
increased  to  sixty-five  mendjers ;  the  Reciprocity  Treaty  with 
the  United  States  was  negotiated  by  Lord  Elgin;  the  power 
hitherto  held  by  the  Lnperial  Government  to  deal  with  the 
Clergy  Reserves  was  conceded  to  the  Province,  but  with  pro- 
tection to  vestt'd  rights;  and  an  unfruitful  attempt  was  niade 
to  modify  the  harsh  action  of  the  seigniors  towards  the  censi- 
taires,  or  conniionalt}',  in  I^<n\er  Canada.  Persistent  attacks 
were  also  made  u])on  Air.  Hincks,  as  had  previously  Ijeen  the 
case  with  Mr.  IJaldwin,  for  his  refusal  to  deal  with  the  Clergy 
Reserves. 

Both  the  Seigniorial  Tenure  question  and  the  Clergy  Re- 
serves question  were  settled  by  the  Government  of  Sir  Allan 
McNab.  The  cleivv  lands  were  secularized  for  educational 
purposes,  and  the  claims  of  the  rectors  were  conanuted.     Of 


TUESTY  YEAliS  OF  EXCITEMEST. 


75 


tlic  scmi-ar^rarian  discontont  in  Lower  Canuda,  caused  by  a 
legacy  of  the  ancient  feudal  system,  something-  further  may 
here  be  said.  Of  the  old  order  of  things,  it  was  the  one  tiiat 
died  hardest ;  it  even  reappeared,  like  some  media)val  spectre, 
to  vex  the  spirit  of  Mr.  George  Brown  during  the  lleeting 
hours  of  his  premiership. 

The  feudal  system  of  land  tenure,  known  as  tlie  Seigniorial 
Tenure,  which  liad  been  established  by  the  French  Crown  in 
Lower  Canada,  when  the  country  was  first  colonized,  had  long 
since  lost  any  virtue  it  ever  possessed.  Its  pristine  goodness 
was  gone,  and  the  dregs  alone  remained.  Under  the  French 
regime,  a  functionary  called  the  Litendant,  and  the  local  gov- 
ernor, had  compelled  the  seigniors  to  deal  Justly  with  their 
tenants,  the  censitaires.  The  Conquest  abolished  this  species 
of  paternal  authority,  and  in  course  of  time  the  exactions  of 
the  seigniors  became  oppressive.  The  principal  complaint  was 
that  the  rents  charged  by  the  seigniors  were  excessive,  and 
should  be  reduced,  and  that  legislation  of  some  kind  was  im- 
perative in  the  public  interest.  The  grievances  of  the  censi- 
taires had  been  fomented  by  popular  agitation  in  the  press  and 
otherwise ;  so  much  so  that  the  Difontaine  Goverimient  was 
oliliged  to  consider  them.  This  was  done  by  a  connnittee  which 
sat  in  tlic  session  of  1S51,  and  of  which  tlie  Solicitor-General, 
Mr.  L.  T.  Drummond,  was  chairman.  Ih-ielly  stated,  the  report 
of  this  committee  defined  the  rights  of  the  seigniors.  It  pro- 
posed legislation  to  fix  the  maxinnun  of  rents  which  the 
seignior  should  receive,  and  to  compel  him  to  acei'pt  it.  At- 
torney-General Lafontaine  thought  this  was  objectionable.  Ho 
regarded  the  proposal  of  the  connnittee  as  equivalent  to  con- 
liscation,  and,  in  any  event,  as  not  striking  at  the  root  of  tho 
system.  After  tho  general  election  and  the  fall  of  tho  Lafon- 
taine Government,   Mr.   Drummond,  who   became    Attorney- 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Generalin  the  Ilincks-Morin  Ministry,  introduced  a  bill  which 
was  designed  to  meet  the  oltjections  of  his  old  colleague,  Mr. 
Lafontaine.  This  new  measure  provided  that  the  courts  should 
determine  the  legality  or  illegality  of  the  rents  then  charged 
the  censitaires,  that  there  should  be  a  certain  maximum  limit 
for  all  future  rents,  and  that  in  the  event  of  the  courts  decid- 
ing in  favor  of  the  old  rents,  which  were  on  a  decidedly  lower 
scale,  the  seigniors  should  receive  public  compensation.  These 
were  the  prominent  features  of  a  bill  which  earned  for  its 
Liberal  author  "  the  distinguished  honor  of  having  been  the 
leader  in  overthrowing  the  feudal  tenure,  and  endeavoring  to 
replace  it  by  land  tenure  more  suited  to  the  age."  It  was 
passed  by  the  popular  assembly  in  the  session  of  1852-3,  but 
came  to  grief  in  the  Upper  Chamber.  The  Cabinet,  it  would 
appear,  was  not  thoroughly  united  on  the  measure;  it  was 
more  or  less  a  measure  of  compromise.  ]\Ir.  Hincks,  the  Upper 
Canadian  leader,  favored  total  abolition  of  the  real  burthens 
of  the  system,  such  as  the  lods  et  rentes,  which  were  admitted- 
ly legal,  and  the  giving  of  ade(|uate  compensation  therefor. 
He  also  favored  a  continuance  of  the  rents,  if  the  claim  to 
them  was  legally  established  ;  if  not,  that  they  should  be  re- 
duced as  the  courts  might  direct.  Lord  Elgin  is  said  to  have 
shared  these  views. 

The  rejection  of  the  bill  by  the  Legislative  Council  only 
added  fuel  to  the  flame  of  popular  agitation.  In  some  of 
the  more  populous  districts  of  Quebec  there  was  a  cry  for  the 
abolition  of  the  tenure  in  toto.  In  the  midst  of  this  ferment 
of  public  feeling,  the  Hincks-Morin  Administration  vanished 
from  the  scene.  The  new  Government,  the  McNab-Morin 
coalition,  was  perplexed  with  tlie  difficulties  of  the  situation, 
but  was  forced  to  face  and  solve  them  in  some  fasliion.  It 
did  so  with  a  happy-go-lucky  piece  of  legislation.     The  bill 


TIVEXTY  YEARS  OF  EXCITEMEXT' 


ii 


was  introduced  in  the  Lower  House  with  a  multitudinous  lot 
of  clauses,  of  which  it  was  ah^^ost  completely  shorn  by  t'.ic 
time  it  had  run  the  gauntlet  of  the  Upper  Chamber.  Col. 
Tachd  had  charge  of  the  measure  in  the  Lords.  The  crucial 
difficulty  was  solved  in  this  way  :  A  reduction  was  made  of 
the  maximum  rent  from  two-pence  to  one  penny  per  arpcnt, 
iuid  a  commutation  at  that  rate  was  forced  upon  the  long- 
privileged  seigniors.  This,  WMth  the  indemnity  which  followed, 
and  which  was  extinrjuished  in  the  vcar  18G0,  was  in  effect 
the  practical  abolition  of  the  Seigniorial  Tenure,  the  most 
vexatious  of  all  Lower  Canadian  social  evils. 

Lord  Elgin  retired  in  1S54,  and  Sir  Edmund  Head  took  his 
pLice.     During  his  regime  Mr.  Cartier  came  into  the  Cabinet. 

By  an  amendment  to  the  Militia  Act,  the  first  bodies  of 
volunteers  were  now  formed,  superseding  the  sedentarj^  forcea 
Col.  Tachd  succeeded  Sir  Allan  McNab  as  Premier,  Mr.  John 
A.  Macdonald,  however,  being  the  sense-carrier  of  the  Admin- 
istration. The  Legislative  Council  was  made  elective.  Thii 
Queen  was  asked  to  select  a  place  as  the  permanent  seat  of 
Government.  Mr.  John  A.  Macdonald  in  turn  succeeded  Cul. 
Tache  as  leader,  and  at  the  close  of  18j7  Parliament  was  dis- 
solved, and  there  was  a  sharp  appeal  to  the  country. 

The  chief  issue  in  this  memorable  struggle  had  regard  to 
tlie  inequalities  of  the  representation.  The  number  of  mi-m- 
bers  given  to  each  Province  had  been  fixed,  as  already  stated, 
at  sixty-five.  lUit  the  r;i[)id  growth  of  Upper  Canada  had 
made  the  demand  for  representation  by  iiopulation,  or  Hep.  by 
I 'op.,  as  it  was  shortly  called,  irresistible.  Mr.  Erown  came 
back  with  a  largo  following  from  L^pper  Canada,  so  that  in 
the  siNSsion  of  IS.jS  Mr.  Macdonald  had  to  abandon  the  prin- 
Ll[)le  of  the  "double  majority,"  and  keep  himself  in  power  \>y 


78 


LirE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


the  prcponfloratinfj  votes  of  the  Lower  Canadian  memliers. 
He  rcsi^mod  the  seals  of  oftice,  however,  on  tlie  adverse  vote  of 
the  Assembly  diHa{)proving  of  the  choice  of  Ottawa  as  the  seat 
of  government,  only  to  resume  his  place  a  few  days  after  by 
the  grace  of  the  "double  shuffle" — a  phrase  which  is  more 
fully  explained  hereafter.  In  1859  the  great  Reform  Conven- 
tion was  held  in  Toronto.  As  the  result  of  its  deliberations 
Mr.  Brown  proposed  in  the  session  of  18G0  resolutions  pointing 
to  the  failure  of  the  existing  union  of  the  two  Provinces,  and 
declaring  that  the  true  remedy  for  the  existing  evils  would  be 
the  formation  of  two  or  more  local  governments,  to  which 
should  be  committed  all  matters  of  a  sectional  character,  and 
the  erection  of  "  some  joint  authority  "  to  dispose  of  the  affairs 
common  to  all.  In  these  resolutions  the  germ  appears  of  the 
existing  Confederation.  But  the  concession  of  the  principle 
of  representation  according  to  population  was  for  the  time 
being  withheld. 

As  early  indeed  as  1858,  Mr,  Brown,  with  true  prescience, 
saw  that  the  existing  constitution  could  not  continue.  Writing 
to  Mr.  Hoi  ton  on  the  29th  of  January  of  that  year  he  sug- 
gested three  changes:  "A  genuine  legislative  union,  with 
representation  by  population,  a  federation,  or  a  dissolution  of 
the  present  union."  He  discusses  each  of  the  three  plans,  and 
rejects  dissolution  as  ruinous  and  wrong.  "A  federal  union, 
it  appears  to  me,  cannot  be  entertained  for  Canada  alone,  but 
when  agitated  must  include  all  British  America."  He  de- 
spaired at  the  time  of  the  feasibility  of  so  large  a  scheme,  and 
predicted  that  "  we  will  be  past  caring  for  politics  when  that 
matter  is  finally  achieved."  His  powerful  advocacy,  however, 
of  representation  by  population  hastened  the  consummation 
of  the  project  at  a  much  earlier  day  than  at  that  time  to  any 
one  seemed  at  all  possible. 


Alexander  Mackenzie. 
(From  a  Photoijraph  hij  Xotmnn  .t-  /'Vrt-scr,  1S70.J 


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Pc. 

Ec 
Mi 


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691,( 

890,( 

-Caiia 

WJ 

be  ha 

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iive   ; 

Mr.  C 

that,  ;; 

tish  ot 

that   ^ 

■Brown 

wealth 

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■stitueiK 


TiyLN'JY  YKAUS  OF  EXCITE MEXT. 


81 


u»  t 


In  1801,  the  year  in  wliicli  Alexand<.'r  Mucken/io  came  into 
Parliament,  his  naniesake,  Wilham  Lyon  Muckeny.ic,  died.  Sir 
E«hnund  Head  was  succeeded  as  Governor-General  bj'  Lord 
JVIunck.     The  decennial   census   was    taken,   and    showed    an 


C<,^%^ 


>, 


'^^y^zL^%^ 


enormous  advance  in  population  in  Upper  Canada  over  the 
number  of  the  people  of  the  Province  in  1851.  The  popula- 
tion of  Upper  Canada  in  1841  ivas  405,000 — of  Lower  Canada, 
091,000;  in  1851  Upper  Canada  had  952,000— I  ower  Canada, 
890,000;  in  1801  Upper  Canada  numbered  1,390,000— Lower 
Canada,  1,111,000. 

When  Mr.  Brown  moved  in  1857  that  representation  should 
be  based  upon  population,  without  refifard  to  a  separating  li*ne 
between  Upper  and  Lower  Canada,  he  was  able  to  show  that 
while  Lower  Canada  doubled  her  popidation  once  in  twenty- 
iive  years,  Upper  Canada  doubled  hers  once  in  ten  years. 
^Ir.  Cartier  met  this  statement  by  the  celebrated  argument 
that,  against  the  disparity  of  numbers  of  the  peo[)le,  the  cod- 
tish  of  Gaspe  Basin  should  be  counted.  li"  he  meant  by  this 
that  wealth  should  be  an  element  in  the  calculation,  Mr. 
Brown  was  able  to  answer  him  by  pointing  to  the  greater 
wealth  of  Upper  Canada,  whose  contriljutions  to  the  revenue 
he  estimated  to  be  as  three  to  one.  There  were  at  the  same 
time  great  inequalities  in  the  population  of  the  respective  cou- 
-stituencies  of  L'pper  Canada — greater  even  than  exist  under 
F 


82 


LIFE  OF  THE  llOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKESZIE. 


the  geriymniiilcr  acts  of  recent  times — and  as  interference 
witli  any  part  of  the  structure  would  cndano-er  the  whole 
edifice,  these  glaring  anomalies  remained  to  give  additional 
force  to  the  contention.  In  Bruce  there  were  80,000  people 
without  representation. 

Lower  Canadians  were  all  hut  a  unit  in  opposition  to  the 
principle,  and  they  were  joined  by  some  of  the  members 
representing  eastern  constituencies  in  Upi^er  Canada,  where 
the  growth  of  population  was  not  nearly  so  great  as  it  was 
in  the  western  counties.  The  representative  man  among  the 
members  from  the  eastern  constituencies  of  T"^pper  Canada 
was  Mr.  John  Sandfield  Maedonald,  whose  constitutional  rem- 


ody  was  the  "double  majority,"  which  ^Ir.  John  A.  Maedon- 
ald had   been    compelle<l    to   abandon  as  no  longer   feasible, 
and  which  was  becoming    more    ami    more  impracticable  as 
the  disparity  between  the  ))t)pulatiniis  of  the  two  Provinces 
grew  wider  and  wider.     In  Lower  Canada  the  cry  was  raised 
of  (langei  to  " '^ur  language,  our  law.;,  and  our  institutions," 
and  M.  Loranger  in  impassioned  words  called  ui)on  liis  com- 
patriots to  profit  bv'  their  advantage  :  "  Nous  avons  Vavantaw ; 
])rofi tons-en."      They    wore   answered    by    tlie    old    shout   of 
"  French  domination."     The  cure-all  came  at  1:  st  in  the  shape 
of  Confederation. 

With   this  rapid  and  imperfect  outlino  of  ovonti'-,  in  which 
Mr.  Mackenzie  took  his  part,  we  shall  return  to  a  consideration 


TWENTY  YEARS  OF  EXCITEMENT. 


S3 


of  his  own  Rnrrouudin^s;  after  prefacing  it  with  short  sketches 
of  three  men  who,  like  himself,  took  their  start  on  their 
Canadian  career  in  Kingston,  and  at  about  the  same  period, 
and  whose  political  lives  were  destined  to  produce  a  profound 
impression  upon  his  own — Mr.  Bruwu,  Mr.  John  A.  Macdonald 
and  Mr.  Mowat. 


CHAPTER  lY. 

LIFE    IX   AND   ABOUT   KINOSTON". 

Mr.  .Mackenzie's  Conteniporarics— Sketch  of  Mr.  Geo.  Brown— His  Relations 
to  Mr.  Mackenzie— Characteristics  of  Sir  John  A.  Macdonahl—Mr.  Holton'a 
Estimate  of  Sir  Oliver  Mowaf,— The  Young  Stonecutter  meets  his  Match, 
but  is  not  Overcome  by  it— His  Letter  from  Kingston  to  Scotland— Plod- 
ding in  the  Forests  of  the  Far  \Vest— "  Home,  Sweet  Home  "—Cheated  out 
of  his  Wages— Cues  on  the  Land — A  Friend  in  Need— His  Associates  and 
Surroundings— His  Brother  Joins  Him. 


JR.  MACKENZIE  and  Mr.  F.ivnvn  came  to  Canada 
ill  the  same  year — Mr.  Mackenzie  in  the  sinunier 
ol'  1842,  to  make  this  his  home;  Mr.  Brown,  late 


(Uj^^Cttf  in  |,S42,  to  extend  the  circulation  of  the  paper 
which,  with  his  father,  he  had  recently  started  in  the 
city  of  Xt-w  York.  Mr.  Brown  was,  in  age,  the  sen- 
ior of  Mr.  Mackeii/ie  l)y  about  a  year.  Kingston  was  at  that 
time  the  seat  of  government,  and  Mr.  Brown  went  to  Kings- 
ton in  furtherance  of  his  Journalistic  mission,  but  it  does  not 
seem  that  the  two  men  who,  in  subsequent  years,  were  to 
become  such  ardent  friends,  at  that  time  met.  The  Baldwin- 
Jlincks  Ministry  was  then  in  pow(T,  with  Sir  Charles  Bagot, 
Governor-Cjent  lal.  Mr.  Brown  conferred  with  various  mem- 
bers of  that  Govenniiciit,  aiid  the  impression  produced  upon 
hiMi  by  all  he  had  seen  and  heard  caused  him  to  return  to 
New  York  an<l  induce  his  father  to  remove  their  newspaper 
entei'prise  to  Toronto.  They  connnenced  the  Banner  in  Tor- 
onto in  August  of  1!S4I3,  and  in  the  struggle  which  ensued  for 

84 


LIFE  IN  AND  ABOUT  KINGSTON. 


85 


•^ 


the  maintenance  of  constitutional  government  and  the  estab- 
lisliment  of  religious  equality  in  Canada,  found  full  scope  for 
all    tlu'ir   energies.     The   Banner,  wiiich  was   semi-religious, 
semi-politieal  in  tone,  was  superseded  in   184-i  by  the  Globe, 
and  til  is  powerful  paper  from  the  start  became  the  leading 
political  journal  of    the  Liberal  party.       During   the   many 
years  that  it  was  conducted  b}-   Mr.  Brown,  the  charge  was 
frequently  brought  that  it  was  dictatorial  in  tone  and  intoler- 
ant of  the  views  of  others.     The  opinion  formed  by  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie on  this  head,  and  his  estimate  of  the  functions  of  a 
great  newspaper,  were  expressed  some  thirty  years  afterwards 
in  reply  to  a  letter  of  remonstrance  addressed  to  Jiim  by  a 
journalistic  friend  in  another  part  of  the  country :  "  In  your 
remarks  concerning  the  so-called  domineerintf  of  Mr.  Brown 
and  the  Glohe,  I  have  no  doubt  you  represent  a  large  number 
of  journals.     I  am  bound  to  Nay,  however,  I  nev(.'r  knew  Mr. 
Brown  in  any  way  to  be  so.     No  one  living  lias  hail  so  much  to 
do  with  Mr.  Brown  as  myself,  and  I  always  found  him  reason- 
able, so  that  I  liad  my  say  as  often  as  he  had  his.     Since  the 
formation  of  this  Government,  I  liave  not  received  a  single 
letter  from  him  asking  for  or  pushing  any  favor  or  opinion 
upon  me.     He  has  been  of  all  i)oliticians,  uf  all  men,  the  most 
considerate.     When  out  of  public  life,  he  never  wrote  me,  on 
]iublic  matters,  a   single   letter,    if    I  except   congratulatory 
letters,  on  our  course   in  the  House.     I  am  aware  that  he  is  a 
man  of  strong  will  and  decisive  character  (and  Cnuada  has 
reaped  the  benelit  of  that  trait),  and  such  a  man  nnis,,  in  the 
possession  of  a  paper  ha\iiig  an   iininense  ciirulation,  hold  a 
decided  view  on  public  alliiirs,  and  of  his  own  iin<l  his  paper's 
intluence,  so  that  it  is  natural  that  its  utterances  may  seem,  in 
its  consciousness  of  power,  to  bo  sometimes  domineering.    But 
We  must  admit  tliat  it  is  generally  right,  ami  always  actuated 


86 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


by  liifvh  principle.  Injudicious  often,  perhaps,  and  occasionally 
injurious  to  the  Government,  as  other  papers  are,  still  the 
Liberals  owe  much  to  its  inteti-riuy.  power,  and  induence,  and 
when  they  take  up  the  cry  of  domineering,  they  should  re- 
member that  this  is  the  Tory  complaint,  and  should  be  used 
sparingly  by  us,  for  they  will  quote  it  in  their  own  support. 
Our  papers  liave  to  guard  against  rushing  off  in  pursuit  of 
hobbies  on  mere  speculation,  seeing  how  calculated  the  hobbies 
are  to  weaken  the  central  party  authority.  The  English  and 
Canadian  Tories  held  office  for  many  years  in  conse(juence  of 
such  follies,  and  what  has  happened  already  may  happen 
again.  Principles  we  cannot  abandon  for  any  Government ; 
speculative  political  movements  we  can  always  let  stand  to  a 
convenient  season." 

The  marked  individuality  of  Mr.  Brown's  character  is  seen 
in  this  little  picture  of  him  and  his  paper;  the  paper  being 
his  exact  reflex.  In  person,  Mr.  IJrown  was  broad  and  mus- 
cular, and  of  towering  height,  so  that  his  very  powerful  pres- 
ence gave  an  immense  impetus  to  his  platform  thunderbolts. 
These  were  forged  in  a  glowing,  tiery  furnace,  and  launched, 
as  they  were,  with  the  accompaniments  of  a  voice  as  from  the 
clouds,  and  with  great  vehemence  of  action,  they  were,  in  spite 
of  some  defects  of  oratory,  always  telling  in  their  etlects. 
After  delivery,  the  reporters'  transcripts  of  Mr.  Brown's 
speeches  were  suliject  to  tiie  most  careful  polishing  and 
revision  at  thu  hands  of  the  master  workman  in  the  jour- 
nalistic craft,  and  in  their  strongest  and  most  perfect  foi-m 
were  printed  in  the  Globe,  to  electrify  and  inspire  the  admir- 
ora  of  Mr.  Brown  throughout  the  country. 

Mr.  Macdonald  practised  law  in  Kingston,  and  Mr.  Mowab 
studied  for  his  profession  in  Mr.  Macdonald's  office;  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzio  was  working  in  Kingston  at  the  same  time.     It  docs 


LIFE  IN  AND  ABOUT  KINGS  I  ON. 


87 


not  seem  prolKiblo,  however,  that,  wliile  there,  he  associated 
with  Mr.  ^hicdonald  or  Mr.  Mowat.  Their  circuinstances  and 
walk  in  life  were  of  course  different.  Jolin  A.  ^lacdonald 
was  called  to  the  bar  in  183G,  and  Oliver  Mowat  in  1841.  At 
the  same  age  as  Mr.  Mackenzie,  we  have  no  evidence  that  either 
was  infected  with  the  fever  of  politics  to  the  extent  of  the 
young  stonemason.  \\'itli  easier  social  environments,  the  prob- 
lems of  life  were  not  likely  to  press  so  severely  upon  them  as 
they  did  upon  him.  We  have  seen  that,  when  a  mere  boy, 
Mr.  Mackenzie  was  what  '  flailed  an  advanced  thinker,  which 
means  that  at  that  time  he  was  an  advocate  of  reforms  which 
it  took  3'ears  of  agitation  to  bring  about. 

But  if  Mr.  ^lacdonald  was  not  so  much  of  a  politician  as  a 
youth,  when  he  came  fairly  on  the  stage,  he  was  found  to  be  a 
very  acti\'e  one  indee<l.  His  forte  as  a  leader  was  in  manage- 
ment. He  was  a  cle\'er  political  chess  player,  whose  pawns 
were  men.  These  he  moved  about  the  board  in  a  series  of  ex- 
traordinary and  unlooked-for  combinations.  Nor  was  he  back- 
wai'd  in  stealing  a  piece  from  the  adversary;  using  it, when  he 
wanted  to  do  so,  as  his  own,  and  when  it  had  served  his  pur- 
pose, casting  it  away;  so  that  it  was  sai<l  of  him  that  his  path 
through  life  was  strewn  with  ])olitical  tombstones.  He  had 
fascinating  manners,  an  epigrannuatic,  though  jerky,  style, 
both  in  [)ulilie  speaking  and  cons'ersation,  and  an  ingenious 
faculty  of  making  the  worse  a[ipear  the  better  cause.  He  was 
also  an  inventor  of  hon  mol.'<  and  a  recontear  of  pi(iuant  stories. 
These  (pialities  were  very  attractive,  especially  to  young  men, 
and,  associated  as  they  were  ^vi»h  the  prestige  of  almost  un- 
varying success,  they  constituteil  Sir  John,  in  spite  of  his 
devious  ways,  the  idol  of  his  party.  His  letter  to  Mv. 
McGreevy,   not   long   since  published,  shows  the  relation  in 


f 


I 


II' 


88 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


which  he  held  both  cnlloa^mos  and  followers.     He  kept  them 
or  detatched  them,  exactly  as  it  suited  his  occasion. 

"He  cast  off  liis  friends,  as  a  lumtsinan  his  pack, 
For  ho  knew,  when  he  pleaseil,  he  could  whistle  them  back." 

We  know  of  but  one  exception  to  his  success  in  the  exercise 
of  his  mafijnetic  power — the  rebellion  at  the  perpetration  of  the 
Pacific  scandal.  Then,  for  the  first  and  last  time,  the  hunts- 
man's whistle  blew  in  vain.  It  piped,  however,  to  the  old 
purpose  when  he  coaxed  his  forces  to  follow  him  a^ain  five 
years  afterwards,  on  his  newly-invented  issue,  the  N.  P.  The 
claim  of  Sir  John's  supporters  that  he  had  statesmanship  of  a 
more  than  usually  high  order  will  not  be  denied,  though  their 
faith  in  his  profundity  as  a  great  constitutional  lawyer  must 
have  received  a  severe  shock  in  the  unbroken  series  of  defeats 
it  was  his  lot  to  encounter  in  the  courts,  after  confederation,  at 
the  hands  of  his  old  student,  Sir  Oliver  Mowat. 

Rarely  were  two  men  more  the  antipodes  of  each  other  than 
these.  Sir  Oliver  Mowat's  beaiing  and  manner,  and  his  habits 
and  modes  of  thought  and  expression,  are  altogether  different. 
He  is  most  conscientious  in  the  dischai-ge  of  public  duty,  and 
high  moral  principle  is  part  of  his  nature.  Twenty  years  of 
continuous  service  have  given  the  Province  many  noble  monu- 
ments of  his  statesmanshi}),  and  have  left  his  character  with- 
out a  stain.  Honors  never  soujifht  one  nioic  worthv  of  them 
than  Sir  Oliver  Mowat.  They  were  eai-nt'(l  by  a  long  and 
laborious  life  of  unsclHsh  devotion  to  his  country's  cause,  by 
many  a  brave  and  successful  defence  of  tht'  rights  connnitted 
to  his  charge,  by  the  highest  attributes  of  a  ('liri.stian  gentle- 
man, who  was  Kuns  ihiw  and  sau^  trpi'oche.  The  splendid 
estimate  of  him,  which  wr  iind  embodied  in  a  letter  addressetl 
to    Mr.    Mackenzie    b}'    his   colleag\ie    in   tiie    l)ro\vn-])orion 


LIFE  IN  AND  ABOUT  KINGSTON. 


80 


Governmont,  Mr.  Holton,  of  <liitc  2oth  Oct.,  1872,  and  liitlieito 
unpublished,  we  reproduce.  The  letter  was  written  on  the  as- 
sum|)tion  by  Mr.  Mowat  of  the  office  he  took  at  that  time,  and 
which  he  has  since  uninterruptedly  held  :  "  Mr.  Mowat's  Pre- 
miership is  a  master  stroke,  and  I  conoi'ratulate  you  all  upon  it. 
I  only  wish  I  could  welcome  my  old  friend  and  collea<;uc 
among  us  at  Ottawa.  Of  none  of  the  many  puVilic  men  with 
whom  I  have  been  intimately  associated  do  I  cherish  pleasantcr 
memories  than  of  Mowat.  His  hi<^di  moral  qualities — his  .sen- 
sitive conscientiousness — his  transparent  honesty — his  perfect 
sincerity,  united  with  <(reat  lof^'ical  acumen,  with  extensive  in- 
formation, and  with  rare  power  of  continuous  and  concentratc^d 
labour,  led  me  to  regard  him  as  the  beau  Ideal  of  a  public  njau- 
I  sincerely  rejoice  that  he  has  returned  to  politicid  life.  Ui» 
assiunption  of  the  Ontario  leadership,  at  this  juncture,  cannot 
fail  to  be  of  incalculal)le  benefit  to  the  country."  Never  were 
truer  words  s])oken,  as  no  one  can  but  admit  when  he  reflects 
upon  what  Mr.  Mowat  has  since  done  for  his  Province,  and 
what  it  might  have  been  without  him,  in  the  assaults  that  wei-e 
made  upon  its  rights  and  liberties.  Sir  Oliver  Mowat  luis 
wonderful  power  of  analysis,  an  extraordinary  faculty  of  get- 
ting at  the  salient  points  in  coniplicatcil  masses  of  facts,  of 
digesting  evidence,  of  quickly  reaching  the  marrow  of  a  case, 
and  he  has  a  persuasive  and  argumentative  style  of  speaking 
and  writing  which  makes  him  a  hard  )nan  to  resist.  Joined 
to  tilt  .:>e  qualities  is  a  tridy  democratic  readiness  of  api)roach 
to  any  one  having  a  grievance  or  request,  and  a  patience  and 
earnestness  of  attention  to  rejjresentations  and  appeals  that 
lead  insensibly  to  the  conviction  that  he  has  made  the  cause 
of  the  suppliant  his  own.  In  the  enjoyment  of  a  close  i)ersonal 
and  political  friendship  with  Sir  (  Hi\er  Mowat,  for  the  thirty- 
one  years,  from  the  time  he  entered  Parliament  until  his  death. 


90 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


0 


-? 


-t 


/-f 


/:^^Z^:.'-t't^^ 


i^pL....-^  ^^^-z,,.;^^- .^.-/ci-^^^  ^?1..*__  ^'^^--._ 


(Facsimile  of  Hon.  Lnt/icr  IF.  Ilolton's  ha  ix  I -writing.) 


LIFE  IX  AND  ABOUT  KIXOSTOX. 


01 


Mv.  IMackonzio,  to  whoso  early  fortunes  \vc   uni.st  now  agaiu 
revert,  had  o-ivat  comfort  and  great  profit. 

Before  lea\ing  Moutivjil,  a  builder  had  ofTei'ed  the  youthful 
stonecutter  fair  wages  to  engage  with  him,  but  judging  that  if 
wages  w'ere  so  good  near  the  sea,  they  would  be  still  better 
inland,  he  resolved  to  push  on  up  the  country.  But  in  this  he 
was  mistaken,  for  the  times  were  dull  in  the  Uniteil  States, 
and  many  artizaus,  thrown  out  of  employment  there,  had 
come  over  to  Kingston,  so  that  tiie  place  was  tilled  with  alien 
laborers. 

In  this  case,   however,  he   found   work.     On   the  morning 
after  his  arrival  in  Kingston,  he  went  out  to  seek  em[)loyment, 
and  was  at  once  successful.   But  in  the  meantime  he  discovered 
that  the  tools  he  had  brought  from  Scotland  were  too  soft  to 
cut  the  limestone,  and  not  being  in  a  position  to  incur  the  ad- 
ditional expense  of  getting  a  new  kit  of  cast  steel,  he  oU'ered 
himself  as  a  builder  on  a  house  then  being  erected  on  Princess- 
street  ;  a  change  of  em[)loyment  from  stonecutter  to  builder, 
which  showed,  as  nuieh  as  anything  else,  the  resources  and 
adaptability  of  the  young  artl/.an.     He  had  only  worked  six 
months  in  all  at  the   building  daring  his  apprenticeship,  but, 
watchiuf  the  men  on  the  wall,  he  thought  he  could  do  as  well 
as  they  wore  doing,  and  he  <liil   not  overestimate  his  abilities. 
His  employer  scrutinised  him  narrowly  for  a  few  hours,  and 
then,  without  saying  anything,  went  away.     But  as  his  wages 
at  the  end  of  the  week  were  e(pial  to  tliose  of  the  best  work- 
man, he  knew  that  the  nuister  regarded  him  as  at  least  equal 
to  any  of  thein.     In  a  sh')rt  time  he  was  as  expert  at  building 
as  he  had  been  previously  at  stonecutting. 

His  experience  and  expectations  as  to  remuneration,  with 
the  vision,  ever  before  him,  of  eherished  inde[)endence,  lind 
expression  in  a  well-written  lettir,  which  we  have  before  us, 


02 


LirE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKEy/JE. 


in  a  l)oyisli  haml,  cviflontly  more  accustomerl  to  the  use  of  tliu 
steel  hammer  and  chisel  than  to  the  .steel  pen,  addressed,  on 
the  front  of  two  folded  quarto  pages  of  the  epistles  of  those 
days,  to  his  brother; 

".Mr.  Robert  M.ArKEVzii'.,  C.irpenter, 

"PXTLOCRY,    PektILSHIBR,    ScOTLAXP. 

"Kingston,  June  7,  1842. 

"Dear  Brother, — Yon  v.nll,  no  doubt,  be  surprised  that  I 
have  not  written  you  before  now.  I  arrived  here  yesterday 
fortnight,  but  the  Ennlish  mail  went  off  before  I  could  write 
yon,  and  I  had  to  wait  patiently  till  the  next,  which  is  to  be 
made  up  on  Friday,  so  you  will  see  that  I  could  not  address 
you  any  sooner.  1  began  work  on  Thursday  after  I  arrived, 
at  a  house  in  the  princi})al  street  in  Kingston.  I  found  the 
stone  to  be  much  harder  than  I  imagined — all  limestone,  and 
so  hard  that  no  tools  would  work  them  but  the  best  of  cast 
steel.  Of  course  I  had  none  of  that  kind,  and  had  no  monev 
to  buy  them,  and  far  less  had  I  any  inclination  to  work  at 
such  material.  This  staggered  me  a  little,  but  as  I  had  a 
hannner  and  trowel  with  me  I  resolved  not  to  be  outdone ;  so 
I  commenced  builder,  and  I  have  built  constantly  ever  since, 
and  got  on  pretty  well,  so  that  I  pass  for  a  regular  hand.  I 
am  not  exactly  certain  what  wages  I  am  to  get  yet.  He  told 
me  he  w  ould  give  me  the  current  wages,  which  are  7s.  Gd.  a  day, 
or  Gs.  British  money.  Some  inferior  hands  are  paid  tvith  less, 
but  whether  or  not  I  am  to  be  considered  amono;  them,  1  know 
not  3'et." 

He  then  speaks  of  the  labour  market  in  the  United  States 
and  Canada,  and  says  lie  was  disappointed  in  the  belief  that 
there  would  be  more  demand  for  hands  further  up  the  country 
than  at  the  lower  ports.  Ho  also  gives  the  cost  of  living, 
deducintx  the  conclusion  that  the   married  existence  was  as 


LIFE  IX  AXD  ABOUT  KIXOSTOX. 


93 


economical  as  a  single  man's  lile  in  a  board iiio-house — an 
evidence  of  the  direction  in  whicli  his  thouMits  were  turned. 
He  speaks,  too,  of  meeting  with  one  Roljert  Urquhart,  a  car- 
penter, whom  lie  had  known  in  Scotland,  and  who  had  come 
to  Kingston  a  while  before  him  ;  and  he  })rt)ceeds: 

"I  may  say  that  Kingston  and  Montreal  are  two  as  hand- 
some towns  as  the  best  in  Scotland,  with  mechanics'  institutes, 
strong  total  abstinence  societies,  and  meetings  and  lectures  of 
every  kind.  They  are  surrounded  by  the  most  picturesque 
scenery,  and  front  on  a  majestic  river.  I  only  wish  mother 
and  all  the  rest  were  out  here  with  me.  We  could  live  here 
very  happily  together,  and  if  we  had  some  land  (as  I  expect 
soon  to  have)  we  might  shortly  become  independent.  This,  how- 
ever, is  no  country  for  idlers.  Hard  work  for  sometime  at 
least  would  be  reciuircd  of  those  beginning  to  clear  and  culti- 
vate the  .soil.  But  then  we  would  have  the  satisfaction  of 
knowing  that  we  were  working  for  ourselves,  and  there  would 
be  no  tax  gatiierer  standing  over  us  thrusting  his  hands  into 
our  pockets.  The  Sabbath  ap]»ears  to  be  pretty  well  ke[)t 
here,  but  there  is  very  little  true  religion  amono-  the  <ji'eat 
mass  of  the  population.  Altogether  I  feel  very  happy  until  I 
begin  to  think  of  home  and  its  inmates.  Give  motherandmy 
\'uiuiu'er  brothel's  the  warmest  o'ood  wishes  of  an  allectionate 
son  and  of  a  loving;  brother,  and  when  vou  are  all  gathered 
together  under  the  maternal  roof  and  see  (as  the  poet  says) 
'  the  vacant  seat,  the  empty  chair,'  forget  not  that  there  is 
one  of  your  numbei-,  who  woidd  a})preeiate  the  hap[iiness  of 
the  family  circle,  plodding  in  the  forests  of  the  far  west.  Often 
am  I  in  imagination,  delusis'c  though  it  be,  transported  among 
you,  enjoying  the  presence  of  a  fond  mother  and  no  less  fond 
1  irotheix  I  hope  we  may  all  meet  in  reality  once  more  on 
earth;  but   if  not,  (»od  grant  we  may  meet  at  last   in   that 


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94 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


happy  laml  which  is  the  promised  inhorilance  of  all  believers, 
and  the  anticipation  of  which  is  the  greatest  happiness  given 
us  on  earth, 

"  I  will  write  Peter  Ellis  as  soon  as  I  can.  When  you  get 
this,  give  him  all  the  information  it  contains,  and  my  com- 
pliments. I  hope  you  will  wnte  and  tell  me  what  is  going  on 
at  Lome,  and  send  me  a  newspaper  if  you  can  get  one  [the 
Government  stamp  duty  making  newspapers  at  that  time 
very  expensive],  and  you  will  nuich  oblige, 

"Your  allt'ctionate  brother, 

*'  Alexander  Mackenzie. 

"P.S. — You  will  find  a  newspaper  along  with  this  that  Robert 

Urcjuhart  sends  you,  and  a  curious  epistle  of  his.     Address  to 

the  care  of  Mr.  Coombs,  Baptist  minister,  Reur-street,  Kingston, 

Upper  Canada. 

"A.  M." 

The  contractor,  under  Avhom  he  worked  the  greater  part  of 
this  summer — by  the  name  of  Schermerhorn — paid  his  men 
with  goods  out  of  a  store  owned  by  the  proprietor  of  the  house 
in  which  the  contractor  was  himself  financially  interested,  and 
as  Mackenzie  needed  no  store  pay,  and  as  money  was  not 
forthcoming,  he  was  put  off  with  fair  promises.  When  the 
building  was  nearing  completion,  only  three  masons  were  re- 
tained on  the  job,  of  whom  Mackenzie  was  one.  The  others 
received  their  store-pay  and  left.  At  this  juncture,  hearing 
that  his  employer  was  in  difficulties,  though  he  had  previously 
been  reputed  to  be  well  enough  off,  he  waited  upon  him  for  a 
settlement,  and  got  for  himself  and  a  companion  a  promissory 
note.  This  piece  of  worthless  paper  was  all  they  ever  received 
for  their  faithful  summer's  work.  We  saw  that  note  only  a 
short  time  ago.  It  had  been  preserved  as  a  memorial  of  the 
earnings  of  former  days,  and  was  folded  and  kept  with  many 


LIFE  IN  AND  ABOUT  KINGSTON. 


05 


others  of  the  same  nature,  representing  moneys  long  past  clue, 
but  never  paid.  The  loss  of  nearly  all  his  tirst  summer's 
wages,  at  a  time  when  every  dollar  was  of  eonse(juence,  was  a 
severe  blow  to  the  young  lad,  which  he  deeply  foit,  and  it 
made  him  cliary  of  irresponsible  contractors  for  the  rest  of  his 
days.  This  was  the  first  tiuie  Mr.  ]\Iackenzie  was  deceived  by 
relying  on  a  false  promise ;  we  often  wished  wu  were  able  to 
say  it  was  the  last. 

He  speaks  in  his  first  Kingston  letter  home  of  his  intention 
to  buy  kind.  Like  most  young  Scotchmen  coming  to  America, 
he  had  a  desire  to  secure  a  place  for  hiniself,  and  so  we  next 
find  him  negotiating  for  the  purchase  of  a  farm. 

The  transaction  by  which  he  was  cheated  out  of  his  sum- 
mer's pay  coming  to  the  ears  of  Mr,  Mowat,  of  Kingston,  the 
father  of  the  present  Premier  of  Ontario,  he  kindly  offered, 
on  very  easy  terms,  a  farm  in  the  township  of  Loughbor- 
ough, distant  from  Kingston  about  22  miles,  where,  with  the 
Neil  family,  he  might  tide  o\er  the  winter.  They  were  to  pay 
for  the  land  when  their  prospects  brightened.  Such  was  the 
occasion  of  the  first  introduction  of  Mr.  Mackenzie  and  the 
elder  Mr.  Mowat,  two  names  which,  as  stated,  were  destined 
to  be  closely  associated  in  the  history  of  our  country  for  many 
years  thereafter.  The  esteem  young  Mackenzie  always  cher- 
ished for  the  father  w>ls  iu  after  years  given  to  the  son  with 
tenfold  interest. 

The  farm  lay  among  dense  woods,  and  was  the  only  occu- 
pied  piece  of  land  in  the  concession.  It  was  located  behind  the 
more  settled  parts  of  the  township,  and  had  on  it  a  clearing  of 
two  acres  and  a  log  house,  18xlG,  covered  with  boards,  through 
which,  Mr.  Mackenzie  has  since  said,  he  had  a  line  op]")ortunity 
for  studying  astronomy  on  clear  niglits.  There  was  also  a 
little   back    shanty,    12.\10,  which    leaned  against  the  larger 


9a 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDER  MACKEXZIE. 


*l 


buiklinf:^.     Such  was  the    future  Premier's  palatial  residence 
<iuring  his  first  winter  in  Canada. 

When  he  had  loco  ted  the  famil3%he  succeeded  in  c^ettinf^  em- 
ployment for  a  few  months  for  himself  in  a  small  place  called 
Sydenham,  about  three  miles  distant  from  the  farm.  Here  he 
worked  at  various  jobs  for  an  Englishman,  the  owner  of  the 
flouring  and  oatmeal  mills,  in  building  foundations  and  chim- 
nies  for  some  dwelling  houses  for  his  employes.  But  on  the 
setting  in  of  winter,  he  went  back  to  the  farm,  and  helped  to 
■cut  from  six  to  eight  acres  of  timber,  which  had  been  under- 
brushed  during  the  previous  summer,  in  order  to  prepare  it 
for  the  spring  crops.  While  thus  employed,  he  narrowly  es- 
caped being  killed  by  a  falling  tree.  In  the  spring  of  18-43  he 
left  the  farm  for  Kingston,  and  never  returned  to  it  again. 

The  family  were  ill-fitted  for  such  an  entenirise  as  roughing 
it  in  the  bush.  Except  Mr.  Mackenzie,  who  had  held  the 
plough,  and  worked  on  a  farm  for  some  time  in  his  schoolboy 
days,  not  one  of  the  company  knew  any  more  about  farming 
tlian  Horace  Greeley. 

Mr.  Steed  was  a  ship  carpenter  1)y  trade.  He  was  a  widelj'- 
rcad  man.  He  was,  however,  a  dreamy  iilealist  who  never 
■came  within  a  tliousand  miles  of  a  practical  question — a  phil- 
osopher, in  fact.  As  for  Hugh  Neil,  the  eldest  son  of  the 
family,  lie  had  had  thoughts  of  entering  the  ministry.  He 
was  a  sort  of  prophet;  great  on  the  beasts  and  red  dragon  ol' 
Revelation,  and  on  the  restoration  of  the  Jews.  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie was  the  politician  of  the  party,  and  was  ever  ready  to 
discuss  all  phases  of  economy — domestic  and  political.  We 
have  heard  an  old  man  say,  "1  knew  Mackenzie  in  Kingston; 
he  had  an  a  /fu'  tongue  even  then,  and  was  a  great  speaker 
on  politics."  The  women  possessed  their  full  share  of  the 
brains  and  of  the  intelligence  of  the  family.     The  mother  and 


I" 


LIFE  IX  AND  A  Hour  KINGSTON. 


97 


two  daughters  were  endowed  witli  fine  intellectual  and  social 
(][ualities,  and  were  well-read.  But  of  farming  they  knew 
nothing,  and  neither  had  ever  seen  a  cow  milked. 

The  kind  of  farming  done  on  this  estate  by  these  people  can 
therefore  easily  be  conceived.     But,  notwithstanding,  they  all 
spent  a  happy  winter  together,  in  the  long  evenings  sitting 
round  the  wide,  old-fashioned  fire-place,  cheerful  and  ruddy 
with  the  blaze  of  the  big  logs,  reading  and  discussing  literary 
subjects  and  authors,  especially  Shakespeare  and  Byron,  two 
prime  favourites  of  theirs.     It  was  a  very  interesting  group, 
and  its  intellectual  life  was  a  fitting  preparation  for  the  future 
.statesman.     All  who  have  heard  Mr.  Mackenzie  speak,  know 
that  he  could  readily  quote  from  the  poets,  and  from  current 
literature,  and  that  his  addresses  were  invariably  pitched  on 
the  high  plane  of  presupposing    intelligent   hearers.     Never 
once  was  he  guilty  of  belittling  an  audience  or  trying  to  mis- 
lead  them    by    plausible   and    sophistical    arguments.      His 
hearers  knew  just  where  he  stood,  and  readily  perceived  that 
he  had  faith  in  their  intelligence.     He  was,  again,  like  Hugh 
Miller,  who  said :  "  If  the  writer  of  these  chapters  has  been 
in  any  degree  successful  in  addressing  himself  as  a  journalist 
to  the  Presbyterian  people  of  Scotland,  it  has  always  been,  not 
by  writing  down  to  them,  but  by  doing  his  best  on  all  occas- 
fiions  to  write  up  to  them ;  and,  by  addressing  to  them  on 
every  occasion  as  good  sense  and  as  solid  information  as  he 
could  possibly  nuister,  he  has  at  times  succeeded  in  cateliing 
their  ear,  and,  perhaps  in  some  degree,  in  influencing  their 
judgment." 

The  monotony  of  farm  life  in  the  l)ackwoods  was  relieved 
bj^  occasional  pranks  of  a  harndess  kind  which  young  Mac- 
kenzie was  continually  playing;  the  philoso[)her  of  the  party, 

Mr.  Steed,  being  usually  the  object  of  these  pleasantries,     lie 
Q 


98 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDKli  MACKENZIE. 


and  his  wii'u  oocupiud,  (luriii*^^  tlio  winter,  the  sliant}'  or 
lean-to.  One  ni^ht  Mv.  Mackenzie  stutie(l  np  the  chimney, 
and  the  little  place  was  soon  filled  with  smoke.  The  ])hilo- 
sopher  therenpon  wciit  into  an  elaborate  explanation  of  air 
currents,  and  showed  how  draughts  are  interfered  with  b}'  a 
change  of  wind,  and  that,  thonoii  disagreeable  for  the  time 
being,  it  could  not  be  helped,  the  shanty  being  fdled  with 
smoke  on  philosophical  principles,  aflbrding  a  grand  illustra- 
tion of  the  correlation  of  forces.  All  listened  with  befitting 
attention  to  an  exposition  so  learned ;  none  more  so  than  ')e 
who  had  stuffed  up  the  chimney.  But  next  morning  the  wind 
liaving  got  back  to  the  old  (piarter,  the  trick  was  discovered, 
and  the  stufiinjj  taken  out. 

This  season,  1843,  in  Kingston,  ^Ir.  Mackenzie  tendered  for 
and  obtained  the  job  of  cutting  stones  and  building  a  boml)- 
proof  arch  at  Fort  Heiny,  and  he  wrought  at  this  with  his 
men,  and  at  other  public  works  during  the  summer.     He  was 
joined,  during  the   sunnner,    by  his   brother   Hope,  who  had 
arrived  from  Scotland.     The  brothers  had  not  seen  each  other 
since  Alexander  left  Dunkeld.     By  cn(|uiry,  Hope  found  his 
brother  out;  l»ut  the  two  years  of  separaticju  at  that  particu- 
lar time  of  life  had  wrought  a  great  change  in  the  half-grown 
lad.     In  his  first  letter  back   to  the   family,  Hope  tells  them 
that  Alexander  was  so  cliange«l  in  appearance  that  he  scarcely 
knew    him  :    the    youth   he   had   last  seen  at  the  end  of   his 
apprenticeship,  luul  develope(l  into  a  full-gi-own   man,  strong 
and  active,  and  was  now  in  Kingston,  a  contractor,  though  just 
turned  twenty-one,  standing  at  the  head  of  a  munber  of  his 
own  workmen.     Hope  obtained  woi-k  Mt  Kingston  at  his  trade 
of   carpenter  and  cabinetmaker,  and    wrought   at    it    there 
for  about  three  years. 


.^-^- 


jv. 


J 


CHAPTER  V. 

SETTLES   IN   SARNIA. 

Rises  in  his  Position — Suffers  for  his  0[)inions — ("iocs  to  the  Bpauharnois 
Canal — An  Enicute  there — A  Painful  Accident — Removes  to  the  Welland 
Canal — Returns  to  Kingston- -Is  Married  there — Builds  the  Defences  of 
Canada — Foreman  on  the  Canal  Basin,  Montreal— Settles  in  1S47  in  Sarnia 
— Joined  in  Sarnia  by  the  othe."  Brothers  and  their  Mother— Death  of  his 
First  Wife. 


XE  of  the  stonemasons  who  worked  under  Alexander 
Mackenzie  in  Kingston,  and  who  resides  still  at  a 
'ijm    ripe  old  age  at  Portsmouth,  near  that  city,  says : 
"  He  thorouijhlv  understood  his  work.     As  a  me- 
chanic  and  man  of  lines,  ho  always  had  my  sincere 
gratitude,  for  I  learned  much  from  him.     He  knew  what 
he  wanted,  and  expressed  his  ideas  so  clearly  that  I  had  no  diffi- 
culty in  procuring  for  him  what  he  required.     He  was  always 
the  same.    When  I  met  him  in  Kingston,  in  his  early  days,  and 
in  Ottawa,  in  the  height  of  his  power,  he  was  the  same  plain, 
unaffected,  common-sense  man.     He  frequently  chatted  with 
ine  over  his  early  days  in  Kingston  and  elsewhere.     Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie was  my  friend — my  true  frienil  ever.    Frccpiently  people 
would  ask  me  if  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  wealthy.     I  invariably 
said,  '  No  ;  his  character  is  against  his  heing  wealthy.'     I  can 
truthfully  say  he  was  a  most  benevolent  man.     He  was  not  a 
iriend  of  '  beats,*  but  when  ho  met  needy  persons  who  were 

worthy  of  confidence  and  in  misfortune,  he  would  give  his  last 

90 


100 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


dollar  to  aid  them.  I  know  this  to  be  a  fact.  Mr.  Mackenzie 
was  a  clear  Scotchman,  plain  and  true.  He  was  reserved 
among  strangers,  but  jovial  and  entertaining  with  intimates. 
He  was  a  real  temperance  man.  He  attended  the  Baptist 
church  in  Kingston,  locai:ed  then  as  now." 

In  the  same  "  interview,"  the  narrator  stated  : — "  My  first 
recollection  of  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  while  he  was  dressing  stone 
for  the  front  doors  of  St.  Mary's  Cathedral,  Kingston.  The 
clergy  reserve  question  was  hotly  discussed  at  that  time,  and 
Mr.  Mackenzie,  as  a  Baptist,  was  in  vigorous  opposition. 
Because  of  his  outspokenness,  one  morning  he  went  to  work 
to  find  his  stone  damaged  and  defaced." 

So  the  liberty-of-conscience  Tories  had  degenerated  into 
cowards  since  1837.  Then  in  open  day  they  wrecked  the 
types  and  press  of  William  Lyon  Mackenzie ;  now  in  meaner 
fashion,  under  cover  of  the  night,  they  visited  their  vengeance 
on  his  namesake,  Alexander  Mackenzie,  by  destroying  the 
work  with  which  the  youthful  stonecutter  earned  his  daily 
bread. 

The  chief  comments  we  have  heard  Mr.  Alexander  Macken- 
zie make  in  connection  with  his  undertakings  at  this  time 
were  on  the  evil  consequences  to  the  mechanic  and  working 
man  of  the  drinking  customs.  Tiic  canteen  stood  always 
open,  as  a  trap  to  ensnare  them,  and  many  a  one  fell  a  victim. 
"  Well  was  it  for  me,"  we  have  heard  Mr.  Mackenzie  say, 
"  that  during  my  apprenticeship,  and  at  this  period,  I  was  a 
total  abstainer,  and  never  on  principle  let  a  glass  pass  my 
lips."  Hugh  jMiller  tells  us  of  the  narrow  escape  he  had  from 
the  evil  that  ruined  so  many  of  his  fellow-workmen. 

In  the  spring  of  1844',  finding  that  work  was  likely  to  be 
dull  in  the  city  and  neighbourhood,  Mr.  Mackenzie  left  for 
Beauharnois,  where  the  canal  was  being  constructed.     Hero 


SETTLES  IN  SARXIA. 


101 


he  became  acquainted  with  the  kite  John  Redpath,  of  "Mont- 
real, who  was  also  connected  with  the  public  works  then  being 
pushed  forward.  The  general  foreman — a  Mr.  Robert  Neil, 
but  in  no  way  connected  with  the  Kingston  Neils — a  splen- 
did specimen  of  a  man,  physically  and  otherwise,  being  six 
feet,  four  inches  in  height,  and  stout  in  proportion,  a  frank, 
honest,  intelligent,  fearless  Scotchman,  who  saw  corresponding 
traits  to  his  own  in  young  Mackenzie,  gave  him  charge  of  a 
gang  of  men  who  were  laying  the  large  cut  stone  that  formed 
the  sides  of  the  lock.  These  stones  were  swung  into  their 
position  by  a  powerful  crane.  Almost  an  army  were  engaged 
at  the  various  locks  along  tlie  canal,  and  they  were  composed 
of  inflannnable  national  and  religious  material,  which  caused 
Mr,  Mackenzie  to  divide  them  into  two  bands.  This,  how- 
ever, did  not  prevent  the  outbreak  of  a  fierce  faction-tight 
that  for  a  time  endangered  both  life  and  property,  and  neces- 
sitated the  calling  out  of  the  militar3^  A  company  was  sent 
up  from  Montreal,  before  whose  approach  the  rioters  quieted 
down. 

About  two  months  "'^er  this  a  severe  accident  befell  Mr. 
Mackenzie,  by  the  desr  Mi  of  a  stone  more  than  a  ton  in  weight 
on  the  lower  part  of  ^.lo  leg  and  foot.  Though  his  face  looked 
like  death  from  the  pain,  not  a  cry  escaped  his  lii)s.  On  the 
removal  of  the  stone,  it  was  found  that  a  deep  bed  of  mortar 
had  partially  saved  the  leg,  wiiich,  thougli  feai'fully  crushed, 
was  not  hopelessly  hurt.  He  was  carried  to  his  boarding 
house,  where  he  lay  for  weeks  and  sutt'ered  much,  but  without 
complaint.  Thanks  to  his  good  constitution  and  temperate 
habits,  the  wound  healed,  but  the  limb  never  regained  its  for- 
mer strength. 

For  a  time  he  was  unable  to  endure  much  fnticfue,  or  to 
labor  at    Imilding,   so    Mr.    Crawford,    the   contractor,   pro- 


102 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


cured  for  him  the  position  of  foreman  on  work  being  done 
on  tlie  enlaro-ement  of  the  Welland  Canal.  In  June,  1844, 
he  went  from  Kingston  to  Slabtown,  between  St.  Catharines 
and  Thorold,  as  foreman  for  Messrs.  Thomson  &  Haggart,  on 
Lock  number  12.  In  tlie  fall  of  that  year,  when  frost  had 
stopped  further  work,  he  returned  to  Long  Island,  opposite 
Kingston,  where  a  good  quarry  had  been  found,  and  here  he 
superintended  the  men  that  winter  in  getting  out  stone  to 
be  built  into  the  Welland  Canal  during  the  coming  summer. 
On  Saturday  evenings,  when  the  frozen  channel  was  deemed 
safe,  he  was  in  the  habit  of  crossing  over  to  spend  Sunday 
with  friends  in  the  city,  and  especially  to  visit  her  who  in  a 
few  weeks  was  to  become  his  wife.  On  two  of  these  trips 
he  had  a  narrow  escape  from  drowning  by  falling  through  the 
ice.  The  last  time  he  was  warned  of  his  danger,  but  per- 
sisted in  the  perilous  enterprise,  and,  with  the  aid  of  a  long 
pole  which  he  carried,  he  saved  himself  by  a  miracle. 

His  marriage  took  place  in  the  spring  of  1845.  It  was 
solemnized  in  St.  George's  Church,  Kingston,  by  the  Rector, 
the  Rev.  George  Okill  Stuart,  LL.D.  The  groom  wtus  twenty- 
three  years  and  two  months  old,  and  his  bride  was  barely 
twenty-one.  We  have  lying  before  us  the  marriage  certificate : 

"  KixGSTOX,  Canada,  March  28tli,  1845. 
•'  I  do  hereby  certify  that  the  relii^ious  ceremony  of  marriage  waa 
duly  solemnized  between  Alexander  Maekenzio  and  Helen  Noil,  both 
of  the  town  of  Kingston,  who  were  married  on  Friday,  the  twenty- 
eighth  day  of  March,  one  thousand  and  eight  hundred  and  forty-tive, 
by  license  from  J.  M.  Uigginson,  Deputy-Governor,  by  nie. 

"Geokuk     Okill  Stuaut,  LL.D., 

'' liecior  vf  ii&.  Geonje'a  Church." 

The  ritual  of  the  English  church  sets  down  the  words  for 
the  groom  to  say,   "  With  this  body  I  thee  worshi]>,"  but  this 


SETTLES  IN  S A  It XI A. 


103 


groom  said  nothing  of  tlio  kind.  Whether  ho  objected  to  the 
expression  or  the  sentiment,  we  cannot  tell ;  hut  he  was 
obdurate,  and  neither  the  clci-oyman  nor  his  brother  Hope, 
who  acted  as  liis  "  best  num,"  could  move  liim ;  and  as  a 
special  dispensation  in  his  case,  the  othciating  minister  mar- 
ried him  with  that  vow  omitted. 

Three  children  were  born  to  them.  On  the  reverse  side  of 
the  marriage  certiLoate  are  the  followino-  entries  in  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie's  well-known  handwriting : 


*'  Mary,  our  eldest  dfuiglitcr,  was  born  June  25th,  18-10. 

"  Mary,  our  second  daughter,  was  born  August  25th,  1848. 

"Our  only  son  was  born  April  3rd,  1850. 

"  Our  eldest  Mary  died  on  the  29th  of  May,  1847. 

"  Our  boy  died  on  the  29tli  of  August,  1850." 

Thus,  of  their  three  children  only  one  grow  up  to  woman- 
hood— Marj',  their  second  daughter,  the  wife  of  Rev.  Dr. 
Thompson,  who  has  been  the  minister  of  the  Presbyterian 
Church  in  Sarnia  for  over  twentj'-six  years. 

During  a  part  of  the  sunmier  of  lM-i.5  the  newly-married 
couple  lived  at  Matilda,  but  on  the  close  of  the  works  there, 
they  removed  back  to  Kingston.  Early  in  the  year  184(5,  when 
the  erection  of  the  martello  towers  commenced,  he  again  secur- 
ed a  foreman's  place  under  ^Ir.  ^latthews,  the  contractor,  and 
here  he  worked  once  more  at  Fort  Henry  in  building  the  ma- 
terial defences  of  his  countr3^  In  the  early  part  of  this  sea- 
son, his  wife,  who  had  a  severe  ;utnek  of  fever  and  ague  the 
previous  sunnner,  was  again  taken  ill,  and  under  the  wrong 
treatment  of  a  practitioner,  who,  liecause  of  drink,  had  not  al- 
wavs  the  command  of  his  faculties,  her  constitution  was 
umlermined  and  ruined  by  excessive  doses  of  calomel. 

Leaving  his  wife  in   her  delicate  state  of  health  with   her 


Kit 


i.iri']  or  THE  now  a/j:\     ...''Jii  Mackenzie. 


m 


rnotlior,  lin  wont  down  to  Montn>al  in  tliosprinpf  of  1.S47.  His 
well-known  nldlity  wuh  mow  liilly  rrconnisfd  as  un  expert 
l>uil(lt'r,  and  ca])al)lo  manaj^or  of  iiini,  and  so  ho  roadilyolitain- 
od  a  <^n)od  position  as  rdrcniaii  on  the;  canal-basin  works  that 
were  hoin^''  construotod  in  that  city. 

The  provi(jus  year,  Mr.  llopo  Mackonzio  and  Mr.  Steod  went 
west  in  search  ot"  a  now  location.  Stee<l  took  a  notion  to  W'al- 
lace])nrn-,  hut  Hope's  (ihoice  was  SMrnia,  and  tliis  villarro  they 
niad(i  their  permanent  home.  Steed  and  llo|)(}  onteriMl  into 
contra(;ts  Toi'  linildin^  ships  I'or  lion.  Malcolm  (■aiiieron,  the 
shipping  intei'est  hein^-  at  tlu;  time  in  a  pros[)er()ns  condition^ 
owin^  to  the  iMpid  develo[)ment  ol'  the  conntry,  and  to  the  ex- 
istence, as  yet,  ol"  otdy  tin;  oxecrrahlo  connnon  roads  which  pre- 
ceded the  railway  era.  The}'  provid<;d  at  Sarn in,  honsehold  ac- 
commodations I'or  the  rest,  and  in  the  sinnmer  ul'  1847  were 
joined  Ity  Ahvxandei-  and  his  wife. 

Towards  the  I'mII  of  the  sanies  yeai',  TTop(>  was  scnit  home  to 
Scotland  to  endeavor  tohriny;  toSarnia  tin;  rest  of  the  I'amilv 
the  desire  of  the  youn^  men  being  that  they  should  all  settle 
down  in  (*anada  tof^iither. 

Kobert  at  that  timi;  was  workinu^ at  Ivlinbnrgh.  llop(>  went 
to  him  to  that  place,  and  readily  ^oi  his  consent  to  the  under- 
takin<^.  From  tlusre  Hope  proceeded  north  to  Diinkeld,  and 
prevailed  in  the  sanu;  maimer  Avith  tht;  rest  of  the  family.  A 
dithcnlty  arose  in  regard  to  John,  who  Vv^as  nearing  20,  and  was 
still  sei-\in<^  his  a,j)]»i'enticoship,  nnder  indentui'es,  to  the,  tin 
and  coppersmithini^  tra<lt!.  llisjjjood  master,  hovvcNcr,  helped 
forward  the  arrangements  by  giving  John  his  release,  and  the 
mother  and  her  children  shortly  afterwards  set  out  from  Dnn- 
keld  on  their  jonrney.  Its  lirst  stage  was  Juliid)urgh,  where 
lU)bert  joined  them.  From  Jvlinbuigh  tlu^y  went  liy  the 
recently-opened   railway  to  Glasgow,  whence;  they  took  pas- 


SHTTLIJS  IX  SAliXIA. 


105 


Sf.ffo  in  a  siiiliii<,'  ship  for  New  ^'ol•k,  .-iinl  arrived  in  Sarnia 
in  the  iiioiitli  ol*  Novc'iiiltcr.  Oiu^  can  iniai-iMt'  tht^  uiy  which 
was  felt  hy  th(3  reunion  of  the  mother  and  the  seven  sons,  who 
Were  never  again  to  bo  ]>arte(l  except  hy  »leath. 

The  Macken/ies  lived  in  Sarnia  prosperous  lives,  and  lives  of 
the  best  example  to  their  fellow-nien.  The  brothers  stood  un- 
seltishly  one  by  the  other,  sympathised  with  and  came  to  each 
other's  help,  held  mutual  counsel  and  oave  advice,  and  kept  all 
family  matters  strictly  to  themsi'hes.  'J'heir  loyalty  one  to 
anotlurgavo  the  family  gi-eat  iidluenee  in  the  place  where  they 
resided,  and  this  was  soon  felt  and  aeknow  le»|o»'d  in  all  the 
civic  and  political  affairs  of  l)oth  tin;  town  and  county.  A  et)r- 
respondcnt  says:  "When  1  came  to  Sainia  in  1804,1  found 
the  influence  of  the  Mackenzie  family  supicme.  They  wtre 
the  leadinf^,  fruiding  S})irits  of  the  place,  and  fiieir  name  was 
associated  with  the  town  in  all  her  affairs."  In  some  cases  this 
iiii^ht  prove  a  dangerous  combination,  but  with  theui  it  was 
most  beneticial,  for  they  were  public-spirited  and  disinterested, 
and  their  influence  was  always  wisely  and  conscientiously  ex- 
ercised. 

Alexander  Mackenzie  eng'aged  in  considerable  buildin^^  en- 
tei'prises  in  Sarnia  and  the  Western  district,  including'  the 
(Sandwich  court-house  and  <;aol,  and  these  records  will  remain, 
with  the  records  of  the  ISlate,  to  hold  his  nami^  in  honorable 
reiiifudirance. 

In  the  words  of  Carlyle,  in  speaking  of  the  worknumshii)  of 
A (s  mason  father:  "No  one  that  comes  after  him  will  say 
'  here  was  the  finger  of  a  hollow  eye  servant.'  Let  nie  learn  of 
him.  Let  nie  writ<i  my  works  as  he  built  his  houses."  Young 
Mackenzie^  built  fortifications,  canals,  court-houses,  reputation, 
the  foundation  of  the  State  itself,  on  an  enduring  basis. 


lOG 


LIFE  OF  TJIE  IIOX.  ALES.ANDEII  MACKENZIE. 


In  1852,  ho  was  saddened  by  the  death  of  his  wife,  as  wit- 
ness this  further  endorsement  on  the  back  of  the  nuirriao-e  cer- 
tificate :  "  Our  earthly  separation  took  place  on  the  fourth 
day  of  January,  1S52,  at  |  to  8  o'clock  p.m.,  when  my  dear 
Helen  was  taken  home  by  her  Heavenly  Father.  She  was 
born  on  the  21st  October,  1826,  She  will  meet  in  heaven  her 
husband,  ALEXANDER  Mackenzie." 


ARLY  in  the  liftics  tlio  wostcni  counti(>s  were 
jihlfizo  with  political  rcrvor  uiid  I'aneor.  Hon. 
[(^jJu^^sJf  ^lak'olm  (.'anieron  wa.s  in  the  zenith  ol'  his  power 
^HW  *^  '^'^^^  inlhionco.  In  that  i'ar-oti' region,  access  to  which 
^_^  was  easiest  by  water,  he  was  a  sort  ol"  llohinson  Crusoe 
— monarch  of  all  lie  surveyed,  whoso  right  there  was 
none  to  dispute.  He  was  a  man  ol'  great  respectabilitj'  ol'  lil'e 
and  character,  enterprising  und  t'nergetic  in  business,  an  unself- 
ish helper  of  other  less  fortunate  men,  n  strong  advocate  of 
temperance  principles,  an  omniverous  reader,  and  a  ready  man 
at  quotation,  though  he  was  not  accurate  or  literate  with  the 
]ien.  He  may  bo  said  to  have  lieeu  the  father  of  the  infant 
Sarnia,  which  owed  much  of  its  growth  to  his  public  spirit 
and  energy.  Ho  sat  in  the  Legislative  AssembI}'  for  the 
\uiited  counties  o(  Kent  and  Jjambton.  He  had  opposed,  as  an 
intense  Liberal,  the  laini^ez  venir  poliey  of  the  lialdwin-Lafon- 
taine  Cioverument,  particularly  on  the  clergj'  reserves  question  ; 
und,  on  the  fall  of  tiiat  Adnnnistration,  took  ollice  with  Dr. 

Koljih,  under   Mr.  Hindis,  in  which,  at  the  instigation  of  his 

107 


\  \ 


!■' 


t- 

L'- 
,h 

ir 
is 
.^r 


CHAPTER  VI 

THE    WESTEltX    DISTRICT. 

Politics  and  Men  in  the  Western  District  in  the  Early  Daj-a — Clear  Hrits — 
(ieorgo  lirown  to  the  Rescue — His  Letters  to  Alexander  Mackenzie— The 
"  Browni'^a  — Ancient  Sectarian  Issues— The  "Old  Ladies'" — Mr.  Mackenzie 
as  Editor — A  Rival  Paper — A  Great  Libel  Suit — Valedietorj' — Fine  Letter 
from  Wm.  Lyon  Mackenzie — CJrowing  Political  Intlueuce — Friends  Oui^e 
More — Meets  "  Leonidus." 


108 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDEIi  MACKENZIE. 


Lower  Canada  colleagues,  he  had   to  adopt  a  similar  course. 
At  the  elections  of  1851  he  had  signified  his  intention  of  going 
from  Kent  and  Lambton  to  Huron.    But  in  the  autumn  of  that 
year,   a  split  having  previously  taken  place  in  the  Reform 
ranks,  Mr.  Brown  resolved  to  beard  the  lion  in  his  den  by  ac- 
cepting the  nomination  of  the  Dresden  convention  to  contest 
the  Kent  and  Lambton  constituency.     Mr.  Brown,  through  the 
Globe,  had  been  a  supporter  of  the  Bahlwiu  Ministry  at  the 
time  that  Mr.  Cameron  withdrew  his  confidence  from  it,  and 
"the  Globe  thereupon  gave  the  Cameron  men  the  appellation  of 
"  clear  grits,"  a  name  which  was  afterwards  extended  to  the 
entire  Reform  party,  and  which  has  stuck  to  that  party  to  this 
day.     Mr.  Cameron  brought  out  Mr.  Arthur  Rankin  on  the 
Liberal  ticket  to  oppose  Mr.  Brown,  but  finding  he  did  not 
take  well,  another  Liberal  candidate  was  induced  to  present 
himself,  in  order  to  divide  the  vote  ;  and  four  men,  Brown, 
Rankin,  Wilkes  and  Larwill,  the  latter  a  pronounced  Tory, 
went  in  December  to  the  polls.     The  Brown  men,  however,  of 
the  two  counties,  were  too  many  for  all  the  rest,  and  their 
forces  carried  the  day.     We  have   before  us  a  handbill  issued 
by  Mr.  Cameron,  over  date  Nov.  21st,  18.51,  in  which  he  calls 
Mr.  Brown  some  very  unpleasant  names. 

In  this  election,  as  secretary  of  the  Reform  Committee,  Mr. 
Alexander  Mackenzie  took  an  active  part.  A  warm  intimacy 
was,  through  this  relation,  established  l»etween  him  and  Mr. 
Brown,  which  lasted  for  a  period  of  over  thirty  years.  The 
beginning  of  the  intimacy  and  its  nature  we  find  disclosed  in 
some  hitherto  unpublished  letters  from  Mr.  Brown  to  A[r.  Mac- 
kenzie, which  are  too  good  to  be  kept  longer  buried.  Tiu-y 
are  exceedingly  characteristic  of  Mr.  Brown,  who  was  thus 
early  what  he  continueil  to  be  through  life,  imniensely  ener- 
getic, uncompromising  in  character,  confident  in  the  righteous- 


THE  WESTERN  DISTRICT. 


109 


ncss  of  his  cause,  exuberant  of  spirit,  full  of  self-reliance,  and 
sometimes  wrong.  He  had,  as  we  have  seen,  plumed  his  wino- 
for  Pariiament  in  Haldimand,  and  had  been  defeated  by  Wil- 
liam Lyon  Mackenzie.  But  his  great  speeches  had  drawn  all 
eyes  towards  him,  and  the  Liberals  of  Kent  and  Lambton 
wanted  him  as  their  member.  Mr.  Mackenzie  wrote  to  Mr. 
Brown,  and  received  the  following  answer,  dated : 

•'Globe  Office,  Tokonto, 
"  My  Dear  Sir,  23rd  October,  1851. 

"  I  have  just  received  your  two  letters.  I  hope  you  are  not  too  confi- 
dent of  success.  There  will  be  great  opposition,  and  unless  Lambton  goes 
almost  unanimously  for  me,  it  will  be  all  up.  Depend  upon  it,  when  I 
do  come  out,  I  will  not  let  the  grass  grow  under  my  feet.  It  is  war  to  the 
knife.  Can  you  stand  all  this  ?  You  are  "  regular  bricks  "  if  you  can  put 
your  faces  to  it.     Look  at  it  fairly,  and  if  you  say  so,  I  am  with  you. 

"  i'ours  faithfully, 

"George  Bro\v>." 

Mr.  ^lackonzie  seems  to  have  satisfied  the  warring  young- 
candidate  with  tlie  knife  that  they  were  equal  to  the  work,  as  a 
couple  of  weeks  later  Mr.  Brown  mad 3  answer:  "I  will  run 
for  Kent  and  Lambton.  iScatcherd  will  run  for  Oxford,  and 
we  Jkvill,  without  a  doubt,  put  out  the  Hyena."  (Old  politicians 
will  readily  understand  that  ho  refers  to  Sir  Francis  Hincks.) 
"  Put  plenty  of  work  on  me.  I  can  speak  six  or  eight  hours  a 
day  easily." 

He  was  elected,  and  was  able  to  address  the  next  letter  we 
find  in  his  writing  from  Quebec  (where,  under  the  perambulat- 
ing system.  Parliament  was  then  sitting)  on  August  23rd,  1852. 
Ho  had  previously  written,  in  mistake,  to  Mr.  Mackenzie's 
brother,  Hope  Mackenzie,  on  some  matter  of  patronage ;  "  but," 
said  he,  "  I  have  been  turning  over  my  election  papers,  and  I 
see  ijva  are  still  the  man  of  the  peoi)le.     However,  1  suppose 


no 


LIFl'J  OF  Till-:  //OX.  A/J:\A.\/)HII  MA(:/<EX/JE. 


•I  i 

i: 


it  is  Jill  tlic  siuiK'  tliiiifj.  Do  yon  Trccljindcrs  keep  your  lilood 
WHi'in  on  the  bunks  of  the  St.  Ghiii\  1  .iiu  lialf  ;i  MackeJi/,ic 
niHti  niysclt"  "  (liis  mother  was  a  Mackenzie),  "  and  I  I'eel  my  full 
ri^lit  to  he  as  pi'iiud  as  Luciier." 

(.)n  the  Uli  Septeiiilier,  LSo'i,  lie  writes  to  Alexandei*  Mac- 
kenzie from  Quelii'c,  adfhcssino-  the  latter  in  his  (juality  as 
"  Secretary  to  the  Ivcd'orm  Conmiittoe,  Poi-t  Sarnia,"  on  the  ail- 
ini|iort!int  niatter  of  th(;  spoils.  'J'he  stnrdy  youn^  secn-tai'y 
;i|)|M;irs  to  have  claimed  the  right  for  his  connnittee,  at  least 
to  ad\ise,  if  not  to  diivct.  Mr.  l'>ro\vn  replies  that  nominations 
to  oHie(!  belong  to  the  county  nitiidicr,  hut  he  is  sure  that  the 
connnittee  and  himself  will  never  disfigr<,'e,  "both  ha\  .ng  con- 
sci(!nces,  and  always  trying  to  find  the  right  man."  "  I  go  dead 
for  getting  cNciy  oWwc  for  l^'foi'iiici-s — especially  Brownies. 
Hut  W(i  must  not  foigct  the  pul)lic  inttn'est.  Where  another 
iii.'in  is  dcei<it'dly  better  for  oflice,  even  the  Bi'ownies  should  go 
to  the  wall."  "  Do  shoal  down  petitions  about  the  Reserves, 
Rectories,  Sectarian  Schools,  Maine  Law,  and  Sabbath  desecra- 
ti(jn.  The  more  iha  merrier.  You  will  see  me  abu.sed  in  the 
pa[)crs,  of  course,  like  a  pickpocket,  but  don't  pronounce  against 
UK!  until  you  hear  me  out.  1  know  you  won't.  Yam  shan't 
hiive  occasion  to  Ik;  ashamed  of  me  unless  Ncry  nnioh  left  to 
myself.  I  am  sure  1  try  to  do  i-ight.  *R<'member  me  to  all 
our  friends.     Write;  often,  and  s])eak  ]»lain." 

It  will  bo  seen  that  i\\^\  ])ublic  interest  had  to  be  served 
before  even  "  the  JJrownies." 

This,  to  his  correspondent  in  ^^al•ch,  l.S.'i.'i,  sounds  like  the 
sigh  of  Mr.  Mackenzie  himsilf,  in  the  iui<lst  of  his  cares  and 
liurdt'iis,  thii'ty  years  latei",  and  des<;rib(js  the  order  of  his  work 
very  nnuih  in  the  sami;  maimer.  Mr.  linjwii  apologises  for 
neglecting  friemls,  owing  to  the  mountiin  of  laboui"  which 
weighs  U[)on  him  ;  "  but,'  he  says,  "  when  1  get  rich  on  politics. 


Till-:   WESTI-mX  DlSTllWT. 


Ill 


[i<)'liji])s  I  will  1>('  ;ililc  to  vfiy  Romo  one  to  aasisfc  mo.  Mcuii- 
tiiiu;  1  do  tli(j  bt.'st  f  can.  I  attend  to  puhlic  iiiattens  tli'st ;  my 
privjito  attUirs  second;  and  .s(j  niufli  C(nTespondcnceat"tei-\vai'Js 
iis  T  can  overtake." 

On  the  Ifith  Decemlier,  IS,').'],  Mr.  Brown  linds  liiinself  witli 
a  "pile  ol"  letters  unanswered  h\\f  enough  to  stuH'  a  reason- 
ably si/eil  Kol'a,"  l)ut  still  Ik;  steals  the  time  to  ^dve  a  cha- 
racteristic pai-a<^ra))h  ahont  his  piirpetual  torm-nt,  William 
Lyon  Mackenzie :  "That  little  va^alxaid,  Mackenzie,  is  goiiifr 
\i])  to  op])ose  me,  at  the  insti^^^ation  of  the  .Ministerialists,  ami 
as  tliei-(!  is  a  f^ood  deal  ol"  dou^h-faceism  n|)  tlier<!,  it  is  possible 
he  mav  make  soiriethiiiff  ol"  it.  No  one  can  tell  th<i  result  of 
any  pultli(!  meetin<^f  l>ut  this  T  can  promisi;  him,  he  will  not 
f^et  oH'  with  hoth  eas(!  ;in<l  honor.  "^I'lie  worst  ol"  it  is,  that 
one  makes  noLliine'  l,y  dclViitin;^'  him;  the  encounter  is  a  dis- 
ae-recahle  Imsiiiess  a  re^ndar  nnid-])eltin;^f  ad'aii' — ami  i\n\  cihI 
nothing'.  iJut  in  I'or  a  [lenny,  in  i"(jr  a  [)oiuid  it  has  e-^t  to 
lie  done." 

I'rown    were    in    IS.'),'],   so   they 


As    1 


\'on 


M 


lekeii/ie    aili| 


remanieii 


to   tl 


le  en( 


1.      in    I.S.'J  th 


littl 


i;  va';'al»on(l 


wa.' 


tl 


10 


sanu;  porcupine  sort  o I"  ally,  who  mieht  not  bo  safely  aske(l  to 
their  meetinj^^s,  Toi-  I'ejir  of  a  i-ebull".  TIk!  itnliifs  jire  Mr- 
llrown's:  "1  think  it  ol'  no  use  tryin^^  to  con(Mliat«'  Macken- 
zie— l)ut  yon  must  Jud^^fe  as  to  the  j)r(»priety  of  in\iiiii^-  him. 

//   (//'/,//  r.i'ixisc   i/nii   Id  (III  (I'wklCK  I'd  'I'('J)/ >/." 

This  e^liiiipHe  ol"  the  inner  thou;^dits  of  the  then  youn/^'ci' 
eliampiou  ol"  reform,  in  reeMfd  to  the  old  Liberal  leader  ol" 
Tamily  compact  <lays,  will  surprise  no  one  who  knew  either  of 
th(,'  niei'  and  their  political  relations  to  tjach  other.  IJi'own, 
;dthoiieh  careful  about  criticisiiijL;'  Mackenzie!  ojienly,  ne\er 
i|uite  recovered  fmm  his  defeat  by  the  iiewly  r<'liniied  exile,  in 
Ilaldimand,  while    Maek(!nzi<5,   with    his   strouL'   imlix  idualit\' 


112 


LIFE  OF  THE  I/OX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


and  uncompromising  inflopenJence,  lirooked  nothing  tliat 
savored  of  political  dictation.  Ho  had  little  regard  for  party 
discipline,  whenever  he  conceived  a  princi'de  was  at  stake. 
That  they  were  hard  hitters  in  the  press,  on  the  platform, 
and  in  parliament,  goes  without  saying,  and  the  arcana  of  the 
campaign  corresponik'nce  of  forty  years  ago  only  accentuates 
the  fact.  Aithouglj  here  discovered  at  cross  purposes,  the  goal 
of  their  aims  and  hopes  was  the  same.  Each  was  a  true  Lib- 
eral because  he  placed  the  happiness  of  the  many  above  the 
privileges  of  the  few,  and  because  he  believed  that  disastrous 
revolutions  are  best  averted  by  timely  reforms.  The  liberal- 
ism of  each  was  dominated  by  intense  earnestness ;  it  was  in- 
tolerant of  eveiy  obstacle  in  its  path,  and  unsparing  of  every 
form  of  opposition ;  in  the  general  conflict  along  the  hostile 
lines  it  gave  no  quarter,  and  asked  none.  But  in  its  least 
agreeable  aspects  it  was  redeemed  by  qualities  that  will  ever 
be  gratefully  remembered.  Its  character  was  not  unlike  that 
ascribed  by  a  noble  biographer  to  a  great  tribune  of  the  people 
wiio  played  his  part  on  a  wider  arena  less  than  a  century  be- 
fore. Writing,  in  the  memoir  of  Pitt,  of  Fox's  liberalisu),  as 
displayed  in  his  oratory  and  the  vicissitudes  of  his  public 
career,  Lord  Rosebery  says  : 

"  His  nature,  apt  to  extremes,  was  driven  with  an  excessive 
reaction  to  the  most  violent  negative  of  what  lie  disap[)roved. 
It  is  this  force  of  extremes  that  makes  orators,  and  for  them 
it  is  indispensable.  Few  supreme  parliamentary  speeches 
have,  perhaps,  ever  been  delivered  by  orators  who  have  been 
unable  to  convince  themselves,  not  merely  that  they  are  abso- 
lutely in  the  right,  but  that  their  opponents  are  absolutely 
in  the  wrong,  and  the  most  absuuloned  of  scoundrels,  to 
boot,  for  holding  a  contrary  opinion.  N<j  less  a  force,  no 
feebler  a  llame  than  this,   will  sway  or  incense    the    mixed 


fp 

w 


f 


I 


1 


!  !  -M 


^iif 


THE  WESTERN  DISTRICT. 


IK 


tcmporaments  of  mankinrl.  Tlie  mastering  passion  of  Fox's 
mature  life  was  the  love  of  liberty :  it  is  this  which  made  him 
take  a  vigorous,  occasionally  au  intemperate,  part  against 
every  man  or  measure  in  which  he  could  trace  the  taint  or 
ten  lency  to  oppression:  it  is  this  which  sometimes  made  him 
write  and  speak  with  unworthy  bitterness:  but  it  is  this 
which  gave  him  moral  power,  which  has  neutralised  the  errors 
of  his  political  career,  which  makes  his  faults  forgotten,  and 
his  memory  sweet." 

There  is  much  in  this  passage,  penned  by  a  lover  of  Liberal 
traditions  and  an  impartial  critic  of  those  who  cherished  them, 
that  is  not  inapplicable  to  George  Brown  and  WilHam  Lyon 
Mackenzie.  If  sometimes  at  variance  with  each  other,  they 
were  always  at  war  with  public  wrongs  and  injustice  ;  each 
in  his  day  was  the  petrel  of  the  storms  that  swept  the  political 
sea. 

The  correspondence  discloses  the  further  interesting  fact 
that  in  1853  the  Upper  House  was  held  a  good  deal  in  the  same 
sort  of  estimation  that  has  been  formed  of  it  ever  since.  There 
is  a  change,  of  course,  in  name,  and  a  difference  in  political 
complexion,  but  in  the  contemptuous  treatment  of  public  opin- 
ion, it  is  in  all  essential  respects  to-da}'  what  it  was  forty  years 
ago.  Mr.  Brown  boasts  somewhat  exultingly  of  his  successful 
efforts  in  the  Legislative  Assembly,  sitting  under  the  shadow 
of  tlie  Archevechd,  in  the  ancient  city,  in  fighting  the  religious 
Corporation  Bill,  the  Three  Rivers  Cathedral  Bill,  and  the  St. 
Hyacinthe  Bill,  designations  which  bring  back  recollections  of 
those  too  familiar  sectarian  times.  "  The  St.  Hyacinthe  Bill," 
he  remarks,  with  his  peculiar  individual  characterisation,  "was 
pitched  out  in  the  Lords.  I  lobbied  the  Old  Ladies  for  a  week 
before,  and  they  came  up  to  the  scratch  like  trumps."  When 
ill,  in  1(S82,  it  was  hinted  to  Mr.  Mackenzie  that  if  he  failed  in 


'i 

■J 

'i 


116 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDER  MACKENZIE. 


• 


i 
1 


ii 


m 


his  election  in  consc({iiencc  of  the  geiTymander,  'vvhich  was 
freely  api)lied  to  him  as  well  as  to  other  Lilieruls,  he  might 
possibly  be  elevated  to  the  Canadian  Lords,  he  asked  in  his 
dry,  caustic  way,  "  Don't  you  think  they  have  too  many  inva- 
lids in  the  Senate  already  ?" 

In  support  of  "  the  Brownies,"  in  the  beginning  of  1S52,  a 
printer  from  Toronto,  named  Robertson,  establislied  in  Sarnia  a 
journal  named  the  Lambton  Shield.  Mr.  Mackenzie  assumed 
the  editorship  of  the  paper,  and  wrote  for  it  with  great  vigor 
and  ability  until  May  5th,  ISo-i,  when  Hon.  Malcolm  Cameron 
ended  its  existence  by  an  action  for  libel.  The  publisher  was 
said  to  liave  been  a  former  employee  of  Mr.  Brown  on  the 
Globe.  Mr.  Mackenzie  never  seems  to  have  had  any  pecun- 
iary interest  in  the  concern,  but  for  all  that  he  set  to  work 
con  amore  to  sustain  his  leader  and  down  the  enemy.  The 
Shield  was  a  seven-column,  four-page  sheet,  and  had  for 
its  motto  a  couplet  purporting  to  be  Byronic: 

"  With  or  without  offence  to  friends  or  foes, 
I  sketch  your  world  exaotlj-  as  it  goes." 

As  may  be  supposed,  there  was  a  good  deal  of  individuality 
of  character  about  it,  and  being  in  those  days  without  compe- 
tition either  in  the  local  field  or  from  outside  journals,  it  nmst 
have  wielded  a  wide  inlkicnce.  In  a  little  while  Mr.  Cameron 
found  the  iire  too  hot,  and  induced  the  publisher  of  the 
Lanark  Obf^crrcr  to  move  his  paper  to  Sarnia,  and  to  continue 
it  there  as  the  Lambton  Observer,  so  as  to  pour  in  some  broad- 
sides in  return.  Then  it  became  exceedingly  bad  for  the 
people  of  that  neighbourhood.  We  have  liad  before  us  files  of 
one  of  these  papers  for  the  purpose  of  studying  the  politics  of 
the  place  and  time,  and  regard  for  truth  compels  us  to  join 
in   the    opinion  expressed  by  Martin  Chuzzlewit  to  Colonel 


!^' 


THE  WESTEllX  DISTRICT. 


117 


Diver  in  regard  to  the  writinrrs  of  Jeflferson  Brick,  that  they 
were  "  liorribly  personal ; "  tiiough  probably  only  a  little  less 
so  than  the  platform  sentiments  of  politicians  in  general  in 
those  degenerate  days — so  different  from  our  own  time ! 
Both  from  the  platform  and  the  press  came  very  freely  and 
with  the  gi-eatest  naturalness  charges  of  apostacy  on  the  ques- 
tions of  the  secularisation  of  the  clergy  reserves  ami  the 
abolition  of  the  rectories,  and  charges  also  of  land  and  Grand 
Trunk  jobberies  and  jobs. 

The  Lambton  Observer  was  started  on  Nov.  IG,  1853,  and  in  its 
salutatory  it  declares  its  mission  to  be  "to  promote  the  great 
principles  of  Reform  and  Progress,  and  Civil  and  Religious 
Liberty."  Favouring  religious  ecjuality,  it  would  advocate  the 
secularisation  of  the  clergy  resei'ves  ;  cautiously  adding  :  "  And 
that  forthwith  ! — unless  otiier  reasons  for  delay  exist  that  wc 
are  not  now  aware  of.  The  principal  political  question  at 
present  engaging  the  attention  of  the  politicians  of  our  ProV'- 
ince  is,  '  Are  you  a  supporter  of  the  Government  ? '  "  It 
attempts  an  answer  by  the  assertion  that  the  struggle  was  no 
longer  between  Radicalism  and  Toryism,  the  Tories  being  vir- 
tually defunct,  but  between  two  opposing  sections  of  the 
Reform  party.  The  smaller  of  these  sections,  it  said,  appeared 
to  think  the  Administration  the  most  villanous  that  ever 
cursed  the  Province,  though,  strange  to  say,  those  who  com- 
posed this  section  were  not  long  before  the  warm  defenders 
of  the  very  policy  they  now  condemned.  The  present  Govern- 
ment, though  following  out  the  same  views  of  their  predeces- 
sors "  as  close  as  the  nature  of  the  circumstances  will  permit," 
were  set  down  as  "a  set  of  non-progressives,  because  they 
cannot  keep  pace  with  the  new-born  zeal  of  those  political 
Jim  Crows!"  "Forward,  forward!  blow  the  whistle — up 
with  the  steam  !     The  car  of  progress  lingers.     The  engineer 


I 


118 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


is  not  to  bo  dcpcudcMl  upon.  "Wo  want  another  who  will  1)0 
suhjoct  to  our  dictation,  and  who  will  drive  aiiead  just  as  wc 
order."  "  We  have  private  ends  to  be  served,"  it  fjoes  on 
sarcastically  to  observe,  "  and  private  animosities  to  gratify, 
and  care  not  by  what  means  we  accomplish  our  purpose."  The 
Globe  had  said  that  the  Observer  had  gone  to  Lambton  as  a 
"ministerial  transplantation,"  to  support  the  Postmaster-Gen- 
eral, Hon.  Mr.  Cameron,  its  master,  and  to  engage  in  the  "  rare 
sports  of  Wabash  coon  hunts."  The  Observer  parries  the 
thrust  by  the  retort  that  Lambton  was  no  longer  a  hotbed  of 
Brownism,  and  that  people  up  there  had  "become  tired  of 
being  dosed  all  the  time  with  BiioWN  pepper." 

The  libel  suit,  from  whose  consequences  the  Shield  was 
powerless  to  tind  protection,  was  contained  in  a  paragraph  of 
half  a  dozen  lines.  A  certain  newspaper  had  charged,  on 
the  authority,  as  alleged,  of  an  ex-minister,  that  an  applica- 
tion made  to  Mr.  Baldwin's  Government  in  184-8  or  1841)  for 
the  purchase  of  some  seventeen  thousand  acres  of  land  at  a 
merely  nominal  price,  had  been  intercepted  by  a  member  of 
that  Government,  who  had  procured  friends  of  his  own  to 
put  in  a  memorial  for  the  same  territory,  and  that  when  the 
memorial  came  before  the  Council  the  Commissioner  of  Crown 
Lands,  Mr.  Price,  having  learned  the  particulars  of  the  trans- 
action, threatened  his  colleague  with  exposure ;  whereupon  a 
rumpus  ensued  which  resulted  in  the  disruption  of  Mr. 
Baldwin's  Cabinet  by  Mr.  Price's  enforced  retirement. 
Another  paper  asked  for  the  names,  which  the  Shield  vol- 
unteered to  indicate  so  far  as  to  say  that  the  lands  were 
in  Kent,  that  the  minister  who  applied  for  them  was  con- 
nected with  that  county,  and  that  it  was  in  all  likelihood 
Mr.  Price  himself  who  told  the  story. 

Mr.   Cameron,   on  this,  connnenced  an  action  against  the 


l!|fi'^^ 


THE  WESTERN  DISTRICT. 


J19 


iur 
at  a 
of 

to 

tllG 

3wn 


Mr. 

nit. 
col- 
ore 
|on- 

|)0(l 


Shield,  or,  a.s  he  termed  it,  made  his  appeal  "to  God  and  his 
country."  The  trial  of  "  Cameron  vs.  Mackenzie,  etal.,"  canio 
on  at  Sarnia,  on  April  27th,  1854,  and  was  quite  an  atiair  of 
State,  tlie  Honorables  Messrs.  Baldwin,  Price  and  Merritt  be- 
ing present  on  their  subpoenas  as  witnesses,  with  Mr.  Stei^hcn 
Richards  as  principal  counsel  for  the  plaintiff,  and  Messrs. 
Vankoughnet,  the  ex-chance! lor,  of  Toronto  ;  Bochor,  of  Lon- 
don; Albert  Prince,  of  Sandwich,  and  Vidal,  of  Sarnia,  for  the 
defence.  The  plaintiff'  rested  his  case  on  the  admission  of  ])ub- 
lication,  and  on  proof  that  Mr.  Cameron  was  member  for  Kent, 
and  a  member  of  Mr.  Baldwin's  Cabinet  in  1848  and  1849. 
The  defendants'  plea  was  justification,  on  the  ground  that  their 
ytatement  was  true,  and  that  it  would  by  Mr.  Price  be  proven 
to  be  so.  Mr.  Price  was  then  called,  but  claimed  his  privilege, 
as  an  executive  councillor,  to  decline  to  divulge  the  secrets  of 
the  council  chamber.  Mr.  Justice  Draper  susUiined  the  objec- 
tion, and  the  jury  found  a  verdict  for  the  plaintiff*  for  £20  and 
costs.  The  party  papers  spoke  severely  of  Mr,  Price  for  hav- 
ing first  allowed  the  statement  to  find  circulation  with  his  sup- 
posed authority  for  it,  and  then  left  the  publishers  to  bear  the 
brunt. 

In  its  next  issue  of  May  5,  the  Skidd  published  its  valedic- 
tory. It  spoke  of  the  libel  prosecution  as  now  "  a  part  of  the 
political  liistory  of  Canada ; "  asserted  that  "  malice  was  no 
part  of  our  motive,  and  infamy  is  no  portion  of  our  punish- 
ment, but  we  suffer  pecuniarily  for  our  outspokenness  ; "  and 
stated  the  costs  to  be  from  £120  to  £150,  "  That  sum  we 
can  iMy,  but  not  without  embarrassing  seriously  the  business 
upon  which  we  depend  for  a  livelihood.  The  editorial  labor 
connected  with  a  weekly  journal  we  have  long  found  a  serious 
encroachment  on  our  time,  robbing  us  of  the  enjoyment  of 
many  of  the  evening  hours  of  rest,  after  spending  the  day  in 


120 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


the  exercise  of  a  laborious  m:vnual  occupation "SVc 

leave  the  profession  as  we  entered  it,  with  clean  hands  ;  and  it 
was  not  because  we  had  not  the  opportunity  to  follow  an  evil 
practice  that  we  kept  our  hands  clean  in  the  management  of 
a  public  journal.  We  deemed  it  a  sacred  duty  to  seek  no 
man's  favor,  and  to  be  regardless  of  any  man's  frown." 

Said  his  namesake,  William  Lyon  Mackenzie :  "  One  word 
about  the  man  who  penned  the  above  noble  sentiments.  His 
name  is  AlcTiander  Mackenzie,  by  birth  a  Scotcliman,  and  by 
trade  a  labouring  mason.  He  is  every  wiiit  a  self-made,  self- 
educated  man.  Has  large  mental  capacity  and  indomitable 
energy."  In  addition  to  that,  William  Lyon  wrote  Alexander  a 
gratifying  letter,  wliich  Alexander  Mackenzie  carefully  pre- 
served with  his  papers,  and  which  we  cannot  refrain  from  pub- 
lishing.    It  will  be  seen  that  it  was  written  the  day  following 

the  dissolution  of  1854 : 

"  QcEDEC,  June  23,  1854. 

"  Mr.  Alexander  Mackenzie, 

"Dear  Sir, — I  see  that  you  are  a  Scotsman,  and  I  fear  that  you  ha\o 
been  sacriticod.  For  many  yoara  the  knaves  in  authority  in  tliis  infant 
colony  harassed  me  ahnost  to  death  with  libel  suits.  The  first  grey  hair 
that  I  ever  saw  in  my  own  head  was  when  preparing  to  defend,  without 
legal  aid,  a  heavy  civil  action  for  libel. 

"  I  merely  write,  because  I  cannot  call  upon  you,  to  convoy  good-will  and 
sympathy,  and  to  express  a  hope  that  when  the  elections  come  you  will 
stir  yourself  up  to  return  capable  and  honest  mon--so  that,  tho'  working 
apart,  we  may  bo  working  for  one  and  tho  same  good  object. 

"  The  llincks-Elgin-Cameron  Government   sent  us  summarily  to  tho 
rightabout  yesterday.     Now  is  tho  time  to  work. 
"  Your  faithful  admirer,  and  I  wisli 

"I  might  bo  permitted  to  add,  Tricnd, 

"  W.  L.  Mackenzie." 


One  can  imagine  how  the  younger  Mncki'nzio  would  be  sus- 
tained  in   his  trouble  ixmX   inspired   by  a  sympathising  and 


x-s 


THE  WESTERN  DISTPJCT. 


1-21 


ami 
will 


the 


II  s- 

M<1 


stirring  letter  like  this  from  the  veteran  and  persecuted  Re- 
former. 

It  is  pleasant  to  know  that  subsequently  Mr.  Cameron  was 
again  working  in  harmony  with  his  former  political  allies. 
Alexander  Mackenzie  did  him  signal  service  at  the  Convention 
of  Reformers,  called  at  Strathroy  in  the  summer  of  ISGO,  to 
select  a  candidate  for  the  St.  Clair  division  of  the  Legislative 
Council,  which  body  had  recently  been  madb  elective.     There 
were  many  aspirants  for  the  p()siti(^n,  including  Messrs.  Glass, 
Leonard,  Cameron,  Campbell,  Wilkes,    and  a  gentleman  from 
Toronto.     Mr.  John  A.  Sym,  of  Sti'athroy,  was  chairman,  and 
Mr.  IVIackenzie  was  chosen  secretary.     It  was  speedily  made 
manifest  tliat  there  were  serious  sectional  differences,  and  that 
a  satisfactory  choice  would  be  one  of  difficulty.     There  was  a 
wrangle  which  threatened  to  end  the  proceedings,  the  chair- 
man being  feeble  and  ineffective,  and  the  duties  devolving, 
witliout  tlio  power,  on  the  secretary.     Mr.  Mackenzie  is  said  to 
have  acquitted  himself  on  the  trying  occasion  with  much  firm- 
ness, tact  and  discretion.     The  Lambtcm  and  Kent   men  were 
mostly  Cameronians,  but  the  other  members  of  the  convention 
were  much  divided  between  Mr.  Leonard  and  IMr.  Glass.     In 
the  midst  of  the  uproar,  Mr.  Mackenzie  o)>tained  an  adjourn- 
ment for  an  hour.     A  caucus  was  then  held,  with  the  result 
that  Mr.  Leonard  withdrew,  and  his  supporters  turning  in  for 
Mr.  Cameron,  that  gentleman,  thanks  to  Mr.  Mackenzie,  became 
the  choice  of  tao  convention,  and  won  the  seat.     Mr.  Cameron 
published  a  reply  to  Mr.  Sym  and  Mr.  Mackenzie  expressive  of 
his  very  warm  thanks  for  the  honor  that  had  been  done  him  ; 
and  he  continued  friendly  with  Mr.  Mackenzie  to  tiie  end  of 
his  life. 

It  is  related  by  old  residents  in  Sarnia  tliat  about  the  first 
time  Alexander  Mackenzie  gave  evidence  there  as  a  public 


lis 


122 


LIFB  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


speaker  o?  the  stuff  that  was  in  him,  was  in  a  contest  with 
the  re(loiibta1)lc  controversialist  "  Leonidas,"  Rev.  Dr.  Kyerson, 
Chief  Superintendent  of  Education  for  Upper  Canada.  It  was 
at  a  school  convention  for  the  County  of  Lambton,  held  in 
Sarnia,  on  Wednesday,  2nd  Fel)ruary,  1853.  Dr.  Ryerson  ad- 
dressed tlic  convention  at  len<,^tli,  in  explanation  and  justifica- 
tion of  his  public  scliool  policy.  While  ho  was  spcakinf>',  Mr. 
Mackenzie  sat  listening  in  the  body  of  the  hall.  All  at  once 
he  asked  our  informant,  who  sat  beside  him,  for  a  piece  of 
paper  to  enable  him  to  take  notes,  which  he  jotted  down  with 
a  pencil,  the  paper  rcstiiif,^  on  the  back  of  a  bench.  When  tlie 
doctor  had  concluded,  Mr.  Mackenzie  entered  upon  so  severe 
a  criticism  of  his  statements  that  he  carried  the  mectin<^  with 
him.  By  request  of  the  doctor,  the  chairman  invited  his 
doughty  opponent  to  the  platform,  where  the  tuo  foemen 
shook  hands.  From  the  time  of  this  disputation  onwards,  Di\ 
Ryerson  was  very  wary  of  his  antagonist. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  also  displayed  a  good  deal  of  pluck  and 
abilitj''  in  his  address  from  a  Sarnia  balcony  to  a  crowded 
street  audience,  prior  to  Mr.  Brown's  electic^n  for  Lamltton  and 
K<int,  in  LSol. 


■Mk]   y 


CPIArTER  VII. 

THE   BROWN-DORION   GOVERNMENT. 

The  General  Election  of  1S57— More  Brown  Letters— TFopc  Mackenzie— "Lamb- 
ton  ]>iicUH  " — Alexander  Maciicnzio's  Second  Marriage — Where  Ho  Wor- 
shipped— The  "Double  Shuflle"— fieorgc  Brown's Colleiigues — Their  Policy — 
rrccedonts  for  a  Dissolution — Alex.  Mackenzie  as  an  Essayist — Advocacy  by 
the  Lilturals  of  a  Eederal  Union. 


R  J^)I10WN  sat  for  Kent  anrl  LainLton  until  tlic 
elections  of  1854,  when  the  constituency  haviiif^ 
been  divided,  lie  was  elected  for  Lanibton  by  a 
considerable  majority  over  Mr.  Malcolm  Cameron, 
P^pif  ^^''^o  ^^^^  ^'^o^v  the  temerity  to  oppose  liim  in  person. 
The  Parliament  to  which  he  was  elected  was  dissolved 
in  1857,  and  never  did  man  displa}'  greater  power,  encroryand 
capability  for  work,  and  more  endurance,  than  did  Mi.  Browu 
in  the  campaign  that  ensued.     He  was  is  fact  uljiquitous. 

On  November  25th,  he  writes  from  the  Globe  otlice,  Toronto, 
to  Mr.  Mackenzie,  saying  he  is  unable  to  give  the  time  ho 
would  like,  exclusively,  to  Lambton,  and  is  willing  to  retire. 
"  Keep  in  mind,"  lie  remarks,  "that  my  services  here  for  the 
next  three  weeks  may  save  half  a  dozen  counties — th^'re  is 
literally  no  one  else  looking  after  the  success  of  the  whole — 
and  that  it  is  hard  for  a  man  to  occupy  a  part  he  cannot  feel 
conscientiously  ho  is  filling  satisfactorily.  The  prospect,"  lie 
adds, "is  excell(Mit.  I  cannot  see  how  wo  can  fail  to  beat  them 
in  Upper  Canada.     What  they  expect  to  gain  by  going  to  the 

123 


124  LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 

country  I  cannot  conceive.  Only  think  !  In  a  Cabinet  of 
twelve,  there  are  eleven  lawyers  and  one  auctioneer.  Going! 
Going  !  Gone  ! " 

Notwithstanding,  he  confesses  he  has  no  heart  for  politics, 
"  but,  like  a  dog  in  the  traces  of  his  cart,  must  drag  on."  He 
had  intended,  he  said,  to  retire  from  political  life,  but  were  he 

to  leave  at  the  time  of  the  sudden  dissolution,  it  would  be 
destructive  of  the  cause,  and  he  was  determined  to  go  in. 
Four  counties  offered,  but  he  preferred  Lambton,  if  they  de- 
sired it.  In  that  event  his  address  would  be  out  at  once ; 
"  and  then  for  a  thorough  fight,"  which  nobody  loved  better 
than  George  Brown. 

The  desire  to  win  Toronto  was  so  tempting  to  Mr.  Bi-own 
that  he  decided  on  retiring  from  Lambton.  He  succeeded  in 
the  object  of  his  ambition,  beating  Hon.  J.  H.  Cameron,  but, 
for  fear  of  failure  there,  he  was  also  returned  for  North  Oxford. 
He  elected  to  sit  for  'J'oronto,  and  induced  North  Oxford,  with 
some  hesitation,  to  return  for  that  riding  Mr.  William  Mc- 
Dougall. 

Mr.  Brown  had  advised  that  a  constituency  should  be 
obtained  for  Mr.  Hope  Mackenzie,  who  was  a  gentle-hearted 
man  of  considerable  capacity  and  great  future  promise,  which 
an  early  death  prevented  from  being  realised.  When,  there- 
fore, Mr.  Brown  suddenly  left  Lambton,  a  liiberal  gathering 
was  hastily  called  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Charles  Taylor,  in  Sarnia, 
and  Mr.  Hope  Mackenzie  was  their  choice.  He  did  not  con- 
sent at  first,  the  risk  being  thouglit  by  the  brothers  to  be  too 
great.  However,  he  was  persuaded  against  his  own  better 
judgment,  and  at  once  entered  upon  a  vigorous  canvass,  in 
which  he  was  materially  aided  by  his  brother  Alexander,  who 
went  specially  to  Toronto  for  material  for  a  broadsheet  that 
ho  got  out,  giving  a  vast  amount  of  well-arranged  information 


THE  BRO  WN-DOniON  GO  VERNMENT. 


125 


,t 


for  the  electorate.  A  consi Jural  )lo  cfFeet  was  produced  in  the 
country,  every  polling  place  dechiring  for  him  ;  notwithstand- 
ing-, he  Avas  dci'eatcd  by  a  small  majority — his  opponent, 
Hon.  ^lalcohn  Cameron,  having  secured  a  strong  vote  from 
the  town  of  Sarnia,  through  the  influence,  it  is  alleged,  of 
the  bogus  votes  of  men  who  were  at  that  time  building  the 
railway. 

This  was  the  general  election  in  which,  if  the  Tories  were 
not  actually  beaten,  they  were  so  terribly  shaken  up  that  the 
stability  of  parties  was  gone,  and  the  constitutional  changes 
of  a  later  day  were  the  consequence.  The  Cabinet  of  the 
"  eleven  lawyers  and  one  auctioneer  "  suffered  by  the  defeat  of 
Morrison,  Ileceiver-General,  in  South  Ontario;  Spence,  Tost- 
master-General,  in  Wentworth  ;  and  Cayley,  Inspector-General, 
in  Huron  and  Bruce.  Mr.  Cayley  seems  to  have  adopted  a 
dillerent  system  of  bribery  from  its  grosser  forms  of  the  pre- 
sent day.  He  cii'culated  the  Scriptures.  Tiiis  led  D'Arcy 
McGee  to  say  that,  while  the  people  up  there  accepted  the 
Bible,  they  rejected  the  missionary. 

On  the  retirement  of  Hon.  Malcolm  Cameron  from  Lambton, 
in  18G0,  to  become  a  candidate  for  the  St.  Clair  division  in  the 
Legislative  Council,  Mr.  Hope  ^Mackenzie  was  again  nominated 
by  the  Liberals  for  the  Laudjton  seat.  He  was  opposed  by 
^Ir.  John  Dobbyn,  but  was  elected.  Mr.  lirown  wrote  to 
Alexander,  expressing  his  pleasure  at  the  result.  "  1  camiot 
tell  you  how  rejoiced  I  was  at  Hope's  return.  He  will  be  in- 
valuable in  the  Lower  House.  I  really  ex[)eet  from  his  prac' 
tical  way  that  he  will  make  a  mark  that  few  new  men  have 
ever  done.  Tell  him  he  nuist  take  hold  from  the  stai-t,  or  ho 
will  lind  it  tenfold  more  ditlieidt  afterwards.  It  is  just  like 
'(looking.'" — (A  Scotticism  for  ducking  or  innuersion  under 
water — literally,  a  cold  plunge.) 


i 


I       ' 


liiG 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Ill 


The  Lambton  men  of  Mr.  Brown's  first  love  he  loved  yet. 
He  still  describes  them  by  his  old  i'anii liar  word — "bricks." 
"  I  have  never  seen  any  men  like  the  Lambton  bricks." 

Hope  Mackenzie  sat  for  Lambton  until  the  general  election 
of  18G1,  when  he  declined  renomination,  and  his  brother 
Alexander  was  elected  for  that  riding  by  a  substantial  majority 
over  Mr.  Alexander  Vidal.  Hope,  however,  was  not  permitted 
to  remain  long  in  retirement.  In  18G3,  a  vacancy  having  oc- 
curred in  North  Oxford,  he  was  unanimously  nominated,  on 
the  strong  recommendation  of  Mr.  Brown.  The  resolution  was 
communicated  to  him  at  Sarnia  by  telegraph.  For  personal 
reasons  he  declined,  until  the  pressure  brought  upon  him  became 
so  great  that  he  had  to  give  way,  and,  after  a  short  contest,  in 
a  riding  in  which  he  had  never  before  set  foot,  and  where  the 
people  were  unknown  to  him,  he  was  elected  by  a  majority  of 
291.  He  was  re-elected  at  the  ensuing  general  election.  Had 
he  lived,  there  is  no  doubt  he  might  have  continued  to  repre- 
sent North  Oxford  to  the  present  time.  He  died  at  Sarnia, 
in  June  of  1866,  aged  46,  much  beloved  by  all  for  his  un- 
affected goodness  of  heart,  and  honored  for  his  nobility  of 
mind.  He  always  spoke  with  affection  of  Hon.  T.  D.  Mc- 
Gee,  wdio  nursed  him  tenderly  in  a  sickness  in  Quebec,  caused 
by  exposure  in  crossing  in  the  winter  time,  in  an  open  boat, 
from  Point  Levis — a  dreadful  passage,  which  old  Parliamen- 
tarians remember  so  well. 

Mr.  ^Mackenzie  married  a  second  time,  on  I7th  June,  1853, 
the  second  wife  being  Jane,  eldest  daugliter  of  Mr.  Kobt.  »Sym, 
one  of  the  solid  farmers  of  tiie  county  of  Lambton,  and  a 
prominent  man  in  nuuiicipal  and  political  allairs.  Mr.  ^ym 
was  a  member  of  the  Dresden  convention  in  1851,  which 
secured  Hon.  Geoi-ge  Brown  for  the  representation  of  Kent 
and  Lambton. 


THE  BROWX-DOniON  GOVERXMEXT. 


127 


At  the  time  Mr.  Mackenzie  went  to  Sarnia,  and  for  many 
/ears  thereafter,  there  was  no  Baptist  place  of  worship  in  that 
village,  and  on  Sundays  it  was  his  habit,  accompanied  by  a 
friend  belonging  to  the  same  church,  to  walk  out  a  distance 
of  eight  miles  to  attend  a  small  place  of  worship,  which  liad 
been  established  by  the  members  of  the  Baptist  denomination 

^U^t^^^  «/^l-M^  /S'-T^i^^^ 


^  ■ « ■» 


in  the  township  of  Sarnia,  near  IVfr.  Sym's  residence.  This  ho<ise 
was  the  abiding  place  for  the  time  being  of  those— chief  among 
them  being  ]\Ir.  Ebenezer  Watson,  a  farmer,  married  to  a 
daughter  of  Mr.  Sym— who  went  there  to  conduct  the  services ; 
otlier  friends  of  the  cause  were  also  made  welcome  by  Mr. 
Sym,  esp(>cially  such  as  came  from  a  distance.  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie was  one  of  the  number  who  took  part  in  the  devotional 


i'll 


JIHII:; 

l!n9B|1 ! 


128 


LIFE  OF  THE  llOS.  ALEXAXDER  MACKEXZIE. 


exercises,  a  custom  Avliioli  he  continued  after  his  removal  to 
Toronto,  and  had  entered  into  connnunion  with  the  Jarvis- 
street  Baptist  church. 

Another  bond  of  union  lietweon  ^Ir.  "Mackenzie  and  Mr.  Sym 

was  that  they  both  came  from  L'orthshire,  Scothuid,  where  Mr. 

Sym  had  been  enfrafred  in  farming.     Mr.  Sym  came  to  Canada 

in  1821,  and  settled  in  the  first  instance  in  Bathurst  township, 

county  of  Lanark,  near  tlie  town  of  Perth.      In   1837,   the 

year  of  the  rebellion,  Mr.  Sym  left  Perth  for  the  western  part 

of  the  province,  with  his  friend,  Mr.  Malcolm  Cameron,  and 

they  both  settled  in  Lambton.     ^^' '  lie  in  Perth,  Mr.  Sym's  wife, 

Agnes  Wylie,  died,  by  which  event,  Jane,  the  eldest  daughter, 

became  the  head  of  the  household.     Some  years  after  Mr.  Sym 

died,  Mr.  Mackenzie  went  with  Mrs.  Mackenzie  to  Lanark,  and 

erected  there  a  monument  to  ^Irs.  Sym's  memory.     Mr.  Sym's 

mother,  Margaret  Dick,  was  a  cousin  of  Sir  Robert  Dick,  the 

Baronet  of  that  name,  from  Logierait,  who  fought  under  Lord 

Gough,  in  the  war  with  the  Sikhs.     Sir  Robert  Dick  was  one 

of  the  widely-famed  Black  Watch,  or  42nd  Roj-al  Highlanders. 

This  regiment  was  at  the  battle  of  Quatre  Bras,  on  the  IGth 

of  June,  1815,  and  v»'as  under  four  commanding  officers  in  the 

course  of  a  few  minutes.     Col.  Sir  Robert  Macara  was  killed 

early  in  the  engagement,  and  with  him  also  fell  ]\Iajor  Mcn- 

zics.     The  command  then  devolved  upon  Col.  Robert  H.  Dick, 

but  he  soon  was  severely  wounded.    Major  Davidson  succeeded, 

who  likewise  had  almost  innncdiatcly  to  retire  disabled. 

As  often  as  he  could  make  it  convenient  to  do  so,  Mr.  ^h\c- 
kenzie  continued  to  worship  in  the  little  Sarnia  township 
church,  but  after  awhih;  there  was  a  church  erected  by  the 
Baptist  people  in  Sarnia  town.  This  edifice  was  in  course  of 
construction  when  Lord  Elgin  made  his  well-remembered  pro- 
gress of  the  Province,  and  in  this  building  His  Excellency  was 


I  ! 


[iship 
tho 
■;o  of 
pro- 
was 


I 


TinC  BllOWX-UOIi'IOX  GOVEliXMENT. 


129 


entertained  during  his  short  stay  in  Sarnia.  The  services  in 
tlie  Sarnia  Baptist  church  were  conducted  every  fortnight  by 
Mr.  Watson,  and  on  alternate  Sundays  by  Mr.  I\Iackenzie  and 
other  lay  friends.  Mr.  Watson,  however,  was  not  strong 
enough  in  bodily  health  to  continue  the  duties,  and  as  the 
interest  could  not  be  kept  up,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Mackenzie  thence- 
forth regularly  attended,  so  long  as  tlviy  remained  in  Sarnia, 
the  Presbyterian  church  of  their  son-in-law.  Rev,  Dr.  Thomp- 
son. 

With  his  own  voluminous  papers,  Mr.  Mackenzie  has  pre- 
served many  of  these  which  came  into  his  hands  as  Mr. 
Brown's  biographer.  Among  them  are  some  of  the  original 
communications  on  the  historical  subject  of  the  "double  shuf- 
fle," which  was  perpetrated  on  the  defeat  of  the  Government 
in  the  summer  of  1858,  including  the  messages  sent  to  Mr. 
Brown  by  Sir  Edmund  Head,  written  and  "  signed  b}'^  his  own 
hand,"  as  the  parliamentary  phrase  goes.  On  a  subsequent 
page  of  this  book  we  print  in  facsimile,  as  a  curiosit}^,  the 
first  portion  of  the  celebrated  letter  which  betra^-ed  the  plot, 
and  presented  a  Governor-General  of  Canada  in  the  position 
of  "  keeping  the  word  of  promise  to  the  ear,  but  breaking  it 
to  the  hope  "  of  making  his  invitation  to  Mr.  Brown  to  form 
a  Government  a  mockery-  and  a  snare. 

A  brief  description  of  the  circumstances  attending  the 
"double-shuffle"  is  here  given  for  the  information  of  the  gene- 
ration who  liave  come  upon  the  political  stage  since  that 
period ;  to  those  wdio  were  contemporaries  of  Sir  Edmund 
Head  and  Mr.  John  A.  Macdonald  it  is  uunecessaryi  the  events 
are  indelibly  fixed  upon  their  minds. 

The  Macdonald-Cartier  ministr^^  suffered  defeat  on  the  selec- 
tion of  Ottawa — since  called,  b}-  Mr.  Goldwin  Smith,  "an 
Arctic  lumber  village  "—as  the  permanent  seat   of  Govern- 


i 


i:  , ! 


130  LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEX  \NDE1!  MACKENZIE. 


n>u  ^ 


)M/<>vt 


<*c 


i 

I 


CAVU      K^^' 


iOxZ^^^S^^ 


(Facsimile  of  Sir  Edmund  W(dk(!r  Head's  hand-writing.) 


m 


I 


THE  BliOWX-DORlON  (JOVERNMEN 


131 


erntncnt.     They  resi*o-nocl,  and  Mr.  Brown  was  entrusted  witli 
the  task  of  forming  a  new  Administration.     Mr.  Brown  had 
full  reason  to  know  that  he  would  not  be  sustained  in  the 
existing  House,  but  he   relied   upon  his  undoubted  right  to 
dissolution.     Mr.  Macdonald  was  evidently  aware  that  there 
would  be  a  denial   of  this  right.     Although   his  Government 
had  received  an  adverse  vote  on  the  question  of  the  choice  of 
the  capital,  on  the  test  motion  which  immediately  followed 
for  the  adjournment  of  the  House  they  were  sustained  by 
their  old-time  majority.     Mr.  Collins,  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald's 
apologist  and  biographer,  says  that  notwithstanding  the  vote 
in  their  favor  on  the  question  of  adjournment,  or  of  con- 
fidence,  Mr.  Macdonald    resolved    on    resigning,  in    order  to 
"  strike  a  decisive  blow  at  the  Opposition,"  being  "  absolutely 
certain  that  he  (Mr.  Brown)  would   not  be  sustained  in  the 
House,"  and  knowing,  we  may  add,  that  as  tJiere  was  no 
chance  of    a  dissolution,  he  would   be  effectually  "  dished." 
"  The  resignation,"  says  Mr.  Collins,  "  was  voluntary  ;  but  we 
must  be  frank  enough  to  admit  that  it  was  not  done  out  of 
any  deference  to  any  principle  or  to  the  sense  of  the  majority 
of  the  Upper  Canada  section  of  the  Cabinet.     It  was  simply 
done  to  lure  Mr.  Brown  into  a  pitfall."     "  Frank  enough,"  in- 
deed !     Of  course  Mr.  Brown  was  defeated  by  the  Macdonald- 
Cartier  majority  in  the  Assembly,  and  equally,  of  course,  he 
was  refused  an  appeal  to  the  people.     The  programme  for 
"  luring  him  into  the  pitfall"  was  tlierefore  only  too  faithfully' 
carried  out.     But  there  was  yet  another  part  of  it  to  come. 
The  path  to  real  power  which  had  been  made  so  difficult  for 
Mr.  Brown  was  to  be  made  easy  for  the  return  of  Mr.  Mac- 
donald and  Mr.  Carticr. 

A  clause  had  been  inserted  in  the  Independence  of  Parlia- 
nicnt  Act  the  previous  year  providing  that  where  a  member 


132 


LIFE  OF  THE  UOX.  ALEXAXDEll  MACKENZIE. 


of  an  existiiif^  Governmont  rcsinrncd  ono  office  and  accciited  an- 
other, within  a  month  alter  «ueh  resignation  he  should  not  be 
rc(juired  to  return  to  his  constituents  I'or  re-election.  This 
Act  was  now  strained  to  enable  Mr.  Maciionald  and  his  former 
colleagues  to  resume,  and  avoid  going  back  to  their  constitu- 
ents, by  being  sworn  into  a  double  set  of  oflices — by  swearing 
in  one  hour  that  they  would  administer  one  set  of  ministerial 
duties,  which  they  had  no  intention  of  undertaking,  and  the 
next  hour  that  they  would  perform  others  wholly  ditlrrunt. 

The  courts,  on  being  appealed  to,  interpreted  the  clause  very 
strictly,  so  as  to  bring  the  wholesale  action  of  the  double 
shufflers  within  its  purview,  but  pultlic  opinion  Avas  so  strong- 
ly pronounced  upon  the  trick  that  it  was  afterwards  repealed. 

With  this  digression,  we  complete  the  narrative.  Mr. 
Brown  received  His  Excellency's  commands  to  form  a  Gov- 
ernment on  July  29th,  1858  On  July  31st,  which  was  Sat- 
urday, he  acquainted  the  Governor-General  with  his  accept- 
ance of  the  duty.  At  ten  o'clock  on  Sunday  night — having 
no  doubt  spent  the  sacred  hours  of  the  summer  Sabbath  day 
in  its  concoction — Sir  Edmund  Head  disclosed  to  Mr.  Brown 
the  treachery  which  had  previously  been  hatched,  in  a  memo- 
randum denying  to  his  new  adviser  his  constitutional  right 
of  dissolving  the  notoriously  adverse  and  partizan  House  of 
Assembly,  knowing  that  without  an  appeal  to  the  people,  the 
"Commission  conuinuiieated  in  the  name  of  Royalty  to  the 
A^irst  Minister  was  a  farce,  and  that  through  its  medium  he 
had  drawn  Mi'.  Brown  into  a  snare.  In  view  of  the  baseness 
of  the  Governor-Generurs  conduct,  well  might  Mr.  l^rown 
have  addressed  Sir  Edmund  Head  in  the  language  of  his 
prototype  in  enmity  with  all  but  those  of  his  own  faith,  in 
the  '■  Merchant  of  N'enicc  "  ; 


THE  UR0WX-D0ia02;  UOVEUSMENT. 


183 


day 

•own 

lemo- 

•inht 
Ise  of 
I',  the 
the 

lu  he 

'11  OSS 

•own 

his 

|h,  iu 


''Shylork: 

Nay,  take  my  life,  pcanloii  not  that: 
You  take  my  house  when  you  do  take  the  prop 
Tliat  doth  sustain  my  liouse  ;  you  take  my  life 
When  you  do  take  the  means  whereby  I  live." 

The  prop  w.as  taken  from  ^Ir.  Brown's  house  ;  the  liouse 
became  a  liouse  of  cards;  his  ministerial  life  was  but  a  breath; 
he  died  the  death  ordained  for  him  from  the  first;  and  the 
"double  shuffle"  which  ensued,  with  Sir  Edmund  Head  as  the 
puppet  in  the  hands  of  the  chief  conspirator,  Bible  in  hand, 
administering  the  oaths,  will  be  remembered  for  generations, 
to  the  disgrace  of  all  persons  concerned  therein. 

Put  into  clear  type,  the  facsimile  which  we  give  of  the 
first  sheet  of  Sir  Edmund's  covering  note  is  as  follows  : — 

"  His  Excellency  the  Governor-General  forwards  the  en- 
closed memorandum  to  Mr.  Brown  to-night,  because  it  may  be 
convenient  for  him  to  have  it  iu  his  hand  in  good  time  to- 
morrow morning. 

"  The  part  which  i-elates  to  a  dissolution  is  in  substance  a 
repetition  of  what  His  Excellency  said  yesterday." 

The  man  who,  according  to  his  biographer,  conceived  this 
outrage  on  the  constitutional  rights  of  the  people,  with  a 
Governor-General  as  his  tool,  was  he  who  fourteen  years 
aftcrwai'ds  inaugurated  with  the  "  tens  of  thousands "  of  Sir 
Hugh  Allan's  money  the  frightful  system  of  debauchery 
which  has  sapped  tlie  institutions  of  the  country. 

The  Government  formed  by  Mr.  Brown  possessed  elements 
of  great  strength.  From  Upper  Canada  he  had  for  his  col- 
leagues such  men  as  John  Sandfield  Macdonald,  Oliver  Mowafc 
and  M.  H.  Foley,  and  from  Lower  Canada,  A.  A.  Dorion,  L.  T. 
Drummond  and  L.  H.  Holton.  Mr.  Brown  had  always  been 
nu't  with  the  taunt  that  he  was  unable  to  form  a  Ministry,  and 


r. 


1 

,  ,    1 

' 

134  LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 

it  was  said  there  was  literal  truth  in  his  playful  dosio-nation  of 
himself  iii  his  earlier  career  of  being  "  a  governmental  impos- 
sibility." The  formation  of  this  Administration  was  his 
answer.  And  it  was  not  merely  a  combination  of  men  without 
a  purpose.  In  their  discussions  of  the  old  dividing  differences, 
tliey  had  succeeded  in  laying  the  ground  work  for  a  settlement. 
Representation  by  population  was  to  be  conceded,  but  witli 
adequate  protection,  cither  in  the  shape  of  a  "  Canadian  bill  of 
rights,  guaranteed  by  Imperial  statute,  or  by  the  adoption  of 
a  federal  union."  The  "  seigniorial  tenure "  was  to  be  ar- 
ranged  by  the  purchase  of  the  rights  of  the  seigniors  out  of 
funds  that  were  to  be  provided,  without  inflicting  injustice  to 
Upper  Canada,  Either  by  the  introduction  of  some  of  the 
features  of  the  Irish  national  scliool  nystcm,  or  by  the  giving 
of  religious  instruction  during  certain  hours  of  the  day,  the 
necessity  for  separate  schools  was  to  be  obviated.  Whether 
this  programme  would  have  worked  out  or  not,  the  Liberal 
party  were  not  to  have  the  opportunity  of  trying.  As  Mr, 
Brown  stated,  at  a  great  public  meeting  in  Toronto,  lie  was 
exposed  to  the  mockery  of  a  hollow  invitation  to  form  a 
Government,  and  not  in  a  hundred  and  fil'ty  years  of  English 
history  can  a  single  case  be  found  in  which  men  in  their  position 
were  refused  a  dissolution.  Going  back  but  half  a  dozen  years 
in  our  own  history,  he  gave  all  these  cases  in  point:  "Mr. 
Hincks  went  to  the  country  in  1851  ;  at  the  opening  of  his 
second  session  he  was  defeated,  but  the  Governor-General  came 
down  suddenly  and  prorogued  the  House,  and  gave  him  one 
more  chance  for  life.  Tlie  McNab  Government  followed  in 
September,  18o-t ;  in  1855  three  members  retired,  and  His 
Excellency  consented  to  a  reconstruction  ;  in  185G  the  Govern- 
ment was  Ijcatcn  twice,  and  twice  resigned ;  but  His  Excel- 
lency would  not  accept,  and   Ross,  Drummond  niid  Cauchon, 


THE  BliOWN-DORION  GOVERNMENT. 


135 


nay,  tlie  Premier  himself,  were  all  driven  out,  but  still  a  re- 
cunstruction  was  allowed,  with  Colonel  Tach(^  at  the  head.  In 
1857,  Lemieux,  Terrill,  Ross  and  the  Premier  were  all  driven 
away ;  but  another  reconstruction  was  at  once  granted,  with 
Mr.  Macdonald  as  Prime  Minister.  Unable  to  fill  up  the 
vacant  offices,  suddenly  and  inconveniently,  in  the  middle  of 
the  financial  crisis,  Mr.  Macdonald  demanded  a  general  election, 
and  at  once  he  obtained  it.  And  though  three  ministers  were 
beaten  in  Upper  Canada,  still  His  Excellency  permitted  the 
thing  to  go  on  by  the  aid  of  irresponsible  members  of  the  Up- 
per House,  and  an  oflSce  left  \'acant  from  pure  inability  to  fill 
it  up.  He  permitted  a  session  of  five  months  to  be  wasted  by 
the  utter  incapacity  of  his  advisers ;  he  submitted  to  all  their 
departmental  blundering  and  mismanngement ;  but  he  refused 
to  the  Opposition  the  only  favor  they  asked,  a  fair  appeal  to  the 
people  against  the  misdeeds  of  his  late  ministers.  It'  a  designed 
intention  had  existed  to  get  the  leaders  of  the  Opposition  out 
ot  the  House,  and  then  pass  the  numerous  obnoxious  bills  before 
Parliament,  no  more  direct  way  could  have  been  taken  than  that 
followed  by  His  Excellency." 

In  the  early  days,  Mr.  I\Iaekenzie  kept  a  scrap  book,  but,  to 
his  credit  be  it  said,  it  was  not  with  the  design  of  exercising 
political  terrorism  on  a  much-suffering  community.  He  pasted 
into  the  book  such  good  things  as  struck  his  fancy  in  his  course 
of  reading,  and  such  things  as  more  particularly  concerned 
himself.  As  ho  grew  into  position,  he  no  longer  cared  for  these 
performances,  and  left  the  pasting  in  and  posting  up  of  liis 
sayings  and  doings  to  the  scrap  books  of  smaller  men. 

The  immediate  cause  of  his  starting  this  considerable  volume 
of  blank  sheets  of  brown  paper — this  tabula  rasa — was  the  do- 
livery  of  a  lecture  by  him,  under  the  auspices  of  tho  Sarnia 
Mechanics'  Institute,  on  tho  "  Anglo-Saxon  race,"  in  Ai)ril  of 


136 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOK.  ALEXANDEli  MACKENZIE. 


\\ 


Wi 


1858.     The  lecture  achieved  the  dignity  of  print,  and  it  was 
awarded  the  additional  distinction  oi"  presentation  in  the  first 
pages  of  the  scrap  book.     Both  honors  it  well  deserved.     The 
lecture  is  broad,  comprelunisive,  and  catholic  in  ti'catment  and 
tone,  and  it  gives  evidence  of  a  very  acute  and  observing  mind,  as 
well  as  more  than  onlinary  literary  skill  in  presenting  and  m^ir- 
shalling  the  facts  of  history  ;  it  is  followed  by  Mr.  Mackenzie's 
own  clear  and  acute  deductions  from  tiiese  facts,     He  considers 
our  race  under  three  main  heads: — "  T.  Its  Origin  and  Iiistor3\ 
II.  Its  Present  Position.     HI.  Its  Destiny."     There  is  a  good 
deal  of  research,  and  no  small  amount  of  learning  manifes'Lod 
in  the  treatment  of  the  lirst  branch  of  the  subject,  which,  how- 
ever, centres  too  narrowly  within  the  anciem:  I'ealm  of  Scot- 
land— in  the  strifes  between  the  warlike  Gael  and  the  hated 
Saxon,     In  this  department,  also,  Mr.  Mackenzie  shows  his  ac- 
quaintance, afterwards  so  well-known,  with  the  Biblical  re- 
cords.    One  of  the  most  striking  illustrations  of  the  "  present 
position"  of  the  race,  apart  from  its  natural  ;iad  moral  great- 
ness, is  what  it  has  achieved  for  the  cause  of  human  liberty. 
The  war  waged  by  Russia  for  empire  was  then  just  over,  and 
in  connection  with  tliat  the  lecturer  starts  oat  to  consider  our 
world-wide  "destiny."     This  gives  scope  I'oi  u  burst  of  patri- 
otic sentiment,  and  the  predictioti  of  a  reunion  in   heart  and 
feeling  of  the  English  and  American  peo[)lL's,  when  "all  lands 
willcontribute,  consciously  or  unconsciously,  to  their  power  and 
glory."     Speaking  of  the  estrangement  caused  by  the  war  of 
I'iUgland  with  the  thirtt^en  colonies,  he  says  it  is  but  natural 
that  the  harshness  of  tlie  bigoted  British  statesmen  and  the 
king  of  those  days  sliould  rankle  for  some  time  in  the  minds 
of  American  citizens,  but  he  protests  against  their  [lerpetuation 
by  ignorant  and  sellish  people.     He  justifies  these  feelings  by 
what  were  his  own  as  a  boyisji  studeii.  of  the  history  of  Scot- 


TIIK  BIIOWX-DORION  GOVERXMEXT. 


187 


land  :  "  I  well  recollect  the  feolin<Ts  I  entertained  in  my  boy- 
hood towards  the  English,  while  reading  of  the  exploits  of 
Wallace  and  Bruce  when  opposing  the  English  armies — of  the 
capture  and  execution  of  Scotland's  greatest  chieftain  by  Eng- 
land's king — ^ow  I  wished  for  manhood  and  opportunity  to 
wreak  my  vengeance  on  my  country's  oppressors ;  and  how  I 
gloried  in  the  thought  that  our  land  liad  never  been  conquered, 
and  that  our  kings  had  finally  ascended  the  English  throne." 
"Manhood,"  in  due  course,  came  to  tiie  glowing  youth,  but 
happily  for  England's  peace,  if  not  her  very  existence,  it  did 
not  bring  with  it  the  eager  patriot's  wished-for  "  opportunity." 
Under  the  auspices  of  wiser  monarchs  than  those  of  Scotland, 
she  still  lives  to  fulfd,  let  us  hope,  in  time,  the  destiny  fore- 
shadowed for  her  and  her  race  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  in  his  riper 
years. 


''Ifi 


n 

p 

f   , 

!i 

if! 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

MR.  Mackenzie's  first  elec;tion. 

Dissolution  of  Parliament  and  General  Election — Return  of  Mr.  Mackenzie 
for  Lambton— Ministry  Sustained — Defeat  of  the  Hon.  Geo.  Brown — Mr. 
Mackenzie's  First  Appearance  in  I'arlianieut  — Defeat  of  the  Government 
on  the  Militia  Bill. 

HE  se.s.sionof  18G1  opened  on  the  IGtli  daj'  of  March. 
The  discussion  on  the  address,  in  reply  to  the 
Governor's  speech,  shewed  phiinly  that  tlie  Liberal 
party  intended  to  keep  before  the  country  the 
Sj^  platform  of  lfs59.  The  Hon.  John  Sand  held  i\hicdonald 
divided  the  House  on  a  motion,  declaring  that  the  Car- 
tier-Macdonald  Government  was  unworthy  of  support,  because 
a  majority  of  the  representatives  of  Upper  Canada  were  op- 
posed to  its  policy.  The  motion  was  lost  o\\  a  vote  of  49  to  62. 
Later  in  the  session,  Mr.  Ferguson,  moiubcr  for  South  Simcoe, 
introduced  a  bill  for  the  purpose  of  equalizing  the  representa- 
tion of  the  people  in  the  Legislative  Aosembl}'',  whicli,  aftei- 
being  discussed  on  several  occasions,  was  finally  rejected  on 
a  vote  of  G7  to  41),  Mr.  Sandtield  Macdonuld  voting  with  the 
majority. 

The  debates  of  the  session  disclosed  several  irregularities  on 
the  part  of  the  Government,  wdiich  they  feared  would  tell 
against  them  in  the  country.  Large  advances  liad  been  made 
to  the  Grand  Trunk  Railway  through  the  Bank  of   Upper 

Canada.     Mr.  George  K.   Cartier  had   ofFensively  referred   to 

1  lis 


MR.  MACKEXZIE'S  FIRST  ELECTION. 


139 


Ion 
lell 
|.le 
ler 
to 


the  preponderance  of  the  population  of  Upper  Canada  over 
that  of  Lower  Canada  as  of  no  greater  consequence  than 
twenty  thousand  codfish  in  the  bay  of  Gaspt^.  Large  sums  of 
money  had  been  expended  without  the  authority  of  Parlia- 
ment. The  Hon.  Joseph  Morrison  was  retained  in  the  Cabi- 
net, after  he  had  been  three  times  rt^ected  by  the  people.  The 
Hon.  Colonel  Prince  was  allowed  to  sit  in  the  Upper  House, 
although  holding  a  commission  as  judge  of  the  District  of  Al- 
goraa.  Several  members  of  Parliament  held  contracts  from 
the  Crown.  And  so  tiie  Government  fearing  the  agitation 
that  by  delay  would  result  from  these  disclosures  resolved 
upon  the  immediate  dissolution  of  the  House. 

To  the  great  regret  of  his  constituents,  Mr.  Mackenzie's 
brother,  Hope,  the  sitting  member  for  Lambton,  declined  to  be 
again  a  candidate.  It  did  not  take  the  Ileformers  long,  how- 
'  ever,  to  decide  upon  his  successor.  A  requisition  was  imme- 
diately circulated,  for  there  was  no  time  to  cull  a  convention, 
and  Alex.  Mackenzie  was  pressed  to  be  the  standard-bearer  of 
the  party.  Though  not  desiring  the  honor,  he  felt  it  to  be  his 
duty  to  accept  the  nomination.  On  the  13th  of  June,  1861,  lie 
i.ssued  his  address  to  the  electors  of  Lambton,  and  immediately 
entered  upon  the  campaign  with  Mr.  T.  B.  Pardee  as  secretary 
of  his  connuittee. 

Hid  address  to  the  electors  of  Lambton  is  an  excellent  sum- 
mary of  the  issues  before  the  country  ;  and  naturally  gives 
the  tirst  place  to  the  great  question  of  representation.  "  Until 
the  representation  is  reformed,"  he  said,  "  sound  legislation  is 
impossible,  as  Western  Canada  will  not  consent  to  have  her 
laws  made  and  administered  by  a  sectional  majority.  This, 
tlierefore,  is  the  great  question  of  the  day.  If  I  am  returned 
as  a  nu'mber  for  this  county,  it  must  bo  as  a  determined  oppo- 
nent of  a  Ministry  which   has  declared   its  hostility  to  any 


140 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


ttl 


«( 


alteration  in  the  representation,  and  wliich  has  not  scrupled 
for  four  years  to  rule  Canada  West,  in  detiance  of  her  own  peo- 
ple, by  a  sectional  majority." 

To  those  who  remember  the  vicfor  with  which  Mr.  Mackenzie 
was  capable  of  denouncing  the  tyranny  of  the  majority  and 
the  encroachments  of  power  on  the  rights  of  the  people,  the 
character  of  his  nppeal  iov  redress  for  Upper  Canada  will  be 
readily  recalled.  Whether  by  heredity  or  from  his  high  sense 
of  justice  or  his  inborn  hatred  of  oppression,  it  matters  not ; 
few  men  are  to  be  found  to  whom  wrong  was  more  repugnant 
and  the  insolence  of  power  more  offensive,  and  from  the  brief 
reports  of  his  speeches  in  his  first  campaign,  it  was  quite  evi- 
dent that  wrong-doing  was  not  likely  to  find  an  apologist  in 
him. 

His  views  on  the  position  in  which  Lower  Canada  would  be 
placed,  provided  representation  by  population  were  conceded, 
are  worthy  of  notice. 

When  the  union  of  1841  wa^'  accomplished,  the  two  provinces 
were  represented  in  the  legislature  by  42  members  each.  At 
that  time,  there  was  the  disparity  in  population  already  stated. 
The  people  of  Lower  Canada  felt  that  they  had  yielded  a  good 
deal  in  accepting  a  union  on  equal  terms  with  Upper  Canada, 
80  far  as  representation  was  concerned.  The  increase  in  the 
population  of  Upper  Canada,  in  the  interval,  they  alleged, 
should  not  now  be  made  the  basis  of  a  change  in  representation, 
as  it  was  a  mere  transfer  of  preponderance  from  one  side  to 
the  other ;  and  as  Lower  Canada  entered  the  union  with  the 
same  number  of  members  as  Upper  Canada,  notwithstanding 
the  greater  number  of  her  population,  Upper  Canada  should 
not  press  at  this  time  for  a  change  because  this  condition 
was  since  reversed. 

Moreover,  Lower  Canada  contended,  as  the  people  of  Ulster 


I 
i 


¥ 


MR.  MACKENZIE'S  FIRST  ELECTION. 


141 


inces 
At 

ited. 
ood 

ada, 
the 

ged, 
ion, 
to 
the 

lling 

lid 

tion 

Ister 


now  do,  and  with  probably  no  better  cause,  that  if  she  were 
placed  at  the  mercy  of  Upper  Canada,  her  educational  and 
religious  institutions  would  be  imperilled.  This  feature  of  the 
question  Mr.  Mackenzie  at  once  recognized.  In  his  address, 
he  savs  :  '*  The  enlirditened,  sober  statesmen  of  Lower  Canada, 
uniler  the  leadership  of  such  men  as  Dorion,  Sicotte,  McGee 
and  Drummond,  concede  the  justice  of  the  demand  (for  repre- 
sentation by  population),  and  express  their  willingness  to  yield 
to  the  claim,  only  asking  as  a  condition  that  guarantees  should 
be  given  tiiat  Canada  West  should  not  use  its  increased  power 
to  interfere  with  the  peculiar  ecclesiastical  privileges  and  laws 
of  Canada  East.  This  every  intelligent  reformer  will,  of  course, 
agree  to."  Mr.  Mackenzie  thus  showed,  at  the  very  outset  of  his 
public  career,  that  statesmanship,  in  its  true  essence,  is  frankness 
and  justice ;  that  in  the  advocacy  of  the  rights  of  his  own  party, 
lie  was  unwilling  to  take  the  advantage  of  his  opponents,  and 
that  behind  the  power  whicli  tlie  Government  possesses,  there 
are  inalienable  rights  with  which  no  Act  of  Parliament  should 
interfere. 

In  those  early  days,  Mr.  Mackenzie  proclaimed  himself  the 
advocate  of  economy  and  low  taxation.  He  denounced  the 
Government,  because  in  six  years  they  had  increased  the  debt 
from  twenty-nine  millions  to  seventy  millions,  the  expenditure 
from  four  millions  to  nine  millions,  and  the  tariff'  from  twelve- 
and-a-half  per  cent,  to  twenty  per  cent.  He  reminded  the 
electors  of  the  grants  paid  to  Lower  Canada  for  the  erection 
of  ])iers  and  public  buildings, — as  bribes  for  political  support ; 
of  contracts  given  to  members  of  parliament  for  a  similar 
object;  and  of  sundry  violations  of  the  constitution  for  the 
purpose  of  retaining  power  Little  did  lie  dream,  in  l!S()l, 
that  the  increased  expenditure  and  debt,  and  high  taritt  and 
constitutional    breaches   and  political   bribes,   which  he  then 


142 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


denounced  would,  ?Ti?t^a^ is  mutandis^  occupy  so  much  of  his 
attention  for  the  next  thirty  years. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  was  opposed  at  the  election  by  Mr.  Alexander 
Vidal,  now  a  member  of  the  Senate.  Mr.  Vidal  entered  the 
field  as  an  independent  candidate;  although  a  supporter  of  the 
Cartier-Macdonald  administration,  in  its  opposition  to  the 
demand  of  Upper  Canada.  The  nomination  took  place  on 
the  27th  of  June,  Mr.  Slieritt'  Flintoft  being  returning  officer. 
Mr.  Mackenzie  was  nominated  by  Mr.  Simpson  Shephard,  of 
Plympton,  seconded  by  Mr.  Robert  Rae,  of  Bosanquet,  both 
of  whom  survive  him.  In  order  to  meet  the  electors  Mr. 
Mackenzie  held  three  meetings  a-day,  speaking  at  ten  o'clock 
in  the  forenoon,  and  at  two  o'clock  and  at  seven  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon.  His  extraordinary  powers  of  endurance  and 
capacity  for  political  labor  were  thus  early  tested.  After 
two  days'  polling,  during  which  the  ministerialists  exerted 
themselves  to  the  utmost,  he  was  returned  by  a  majority  of 
142. 

The^  general  results  of  the  election  were  favorable  to  the 
Government,  although  some  of  their  strongest  supporters  were 
defeated  ;  among  these  were  the  Hon.  Sidney  Smith,  Post- 
master-General, and  Mr.  Ogle  R.  Gowan,  in  Upper  Canada, 
and  Solicitor-General  Morin  and  Messrs.  Dunkin  and  Camp- 
bell, in  Lower  Canada.  The  Opposition  met  with  the  follow- 
ing serious  defeats  :  Mr.  George  Brown  in  East  Toronto,  and 
Messrs.  Dorion,  Lemieux,  and  Thibaudeau  in  Lower  Canada. 
The  Opposition  victories  are  worthy  of  note  ;  in  Upper  Canada 
the  mo.st  important  being  the  election  of  Mr.  Alex.  Mackenzie 
for  Lambton,  and,  in  Lower  Canada,  the  election  of  Messrs. 
Joly,  Taschereau,  and  Blanchet. 

The  seventh  Provincial  Parliament  of  Canada  assembled  in 
Quebec  on  the  26th  of  March,  1SG2.  and  continued  in  session 


MR.  MACKENZIE'S  FIRST  ELECTION. 


143 


Mr. 


id  in 

tsion 


till  the  9th  day  of  June,  Lord  Monck  bein;;'  Governor-General. 
The  first  division  of  the  session  took  place  over  the  election  of 
the  Speaker,  the  Ministerial  candidate  beinjjj  Mr.  Turcotte,  and 
the  candidate  of  the  Opposition  Mr.  Sicotte,  both  from  Lower 
Canada.      The  Ministerial  candidate  was  elected  by  a  majority 


of  thirteen,  which  was  practically  the  Ministerial  majority. 
As  a  result  of  the  o-eneral  election  Mr.  ^lackenzio's  nam;, 
which  so  frequently  appears  on  the  division  lists  of  parliament 
during  the  last  thirty  years,  was  entered  on  the  votes  and  px*o- 
ceedings  of  the  House  on  this  division  for  the  first  time.  The 
Cabinet  changes  were  unimportant,  exceptforone  tiling,  namely, 
that  by  the  appointment  of  Mr.  John  Beverley  Robinson  as 
President  of  the  Council,  Mr.  John  Carling  as  Receiver-General, 
and  the  Hon.  Jas.  Patton  as  Solicitor-General  West,  the  great 
question  ^  f  representation  Iw  population — ministers  being 
free  to  vote  as  they  liked — was  left  an  open  one  with  the 
Cabinet,  instead  of  being  closed — as  it  previously  was,  because 
of  the  opposition  of  Lower  Canada.  ^ 

The  Opposition  lost  no  time  in  testing  the  new  legislature  on 
the  question  of  representation,  for  on  the  27th  of  March,  Hon. 
William  MacDougall  moved,  seconded  by  the  Hon.  M.  H.  Foley, 
that  a  paragi-aph  be  added  to  the  address,  expressing  regret 
that  "  His  Excellency  had  not  been  advised  to  recoinmend  for 
the  adoption  of  the  House  some  measure  for  securing  to  Upper 
Canada  its  rightful  share  of  parliamentary  representation  and 


144 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAKDEIl  MACKENZIE. 


its  just  influence  in  the  Government."  On  the  1st  of  April,  the 
House  divided,  forty-two  members  voting  for  and  seventy-six 
against  Mr.  MacDougall's  resolution.  Among  the  prominent 
Conservatives  who  suppoi-ted  Mr.  MacDougall,  were  the  Hon. 
John  Uill3'ard  Cameron,  the  Hon.  M.  C.  Cameron,  Mr.  Craw- 
ford, afterward  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Ontario,  and  Mr.  Street, 
member  for  Wei  land.  Not  a  single  member  for  Lower  Canada 
voted  with  the  Liberals,  and  only  sixteen  from  Upper  Canada 
against  them.  The  debate  on  this  question  was  the  most  inter- 
esting of  the  session,  although  many  of  those  who  took  part 
in  the  discussion  were,  subsequently,  found  in  the  Ministerial 
ranks  ;  among  these  were  MacDougall,  Foley  and  McGee.  The 
representatives  from  Ontario  who  voted  against  Mr.  Mac- 
Dougall's motion  were  T.  A.  Bell,  of  Russell,  Benjamin,  Jones, 
Macbeth,  Morton,  Portman,  Powell,  Macdonald,  John.  A.  Mac- 
donald,  J.  S.  McCann,  McLaughlin,  Scott,  Sherwood,  Simpson. 
On  this  question,  Mr.  Mackenzie  made  his  first  speech  in 
Parliament.  It  is  reported  at  considerable  length  in  the  Globe 
of  the  1st  of  April,  The  Parliamentary  correspondent,  in  re- 
ferring to  it,  said  :  "  Mr.  Mackenzie  made  a  capital  maiden  effort, 
causing  his  hits  to  tell  with  great  force.  Mr.  Mackenzie  is  one 
of  the  ablest  of  the  new  members  of  the  House."  He  began  by 
denouncing  coalitions,  and  said  "  he  firmly  believed  that  much 
of  the  maladministration  we  had  to  complain  of  was  the  inev- 
itable result  of  an  attempt  to  s^'stematize  the  coalition  princi- 
ple in  our  Government,  and  that  no  sound,  health}'  Govern- 
ment, or  Opposition  cither,  could  possibly  exist  where  they  were 
not  held  together  by  principles  in  common.  Much  as  he  dif- 
fered from  and  disliked  old  school  Tories,  he  would  a  thousand 
times  rather  see  a  Government  composed  of  fossil-Tories  in 
power  than  the  present  one,  or  any  one,  formed  on  the  coalition 
principle.     The    present    administration    had   representation 


X'^-  \ 


21  It.  MACKENZIE'S  FIRST  ELECTION. 


14A 


from  every  party,  or  section  of  a  party,  in  the  state.  Constant 
changes  were  inevitable  and  constant  corruption  a  necessary 
consequence."  He  pointed  out  that  every  candidate  from 
Upper  Canada,  with  the  exception  of  the  Attorney-General 
West  (John  A.  Macdonald),  and  the  member  for  Cornwall  (J. 
Sandfield  Macdonald),  had  pledged  himself  to  his  constituents  to 
.support  a  change  in  the  representation  -of  Upper  Canada.  He 
denounced  the  Government  for  their  want  of  statesmanship  in 
(kaling  with  this  question,  and  pointed  out  that  the  conunis- 
siouers  that  settled  the  representation  between  Scotland  and 
England,  at  the  time  of  the  union,  regarded  the  element  of 
population  in  adjusting  the  representation  of  the  two  countries 
in  the  House  of  Connnons.  He  clo.scd  his  speech  by  saying 
"now  he  was  not  rigidly  bound  down  to  representation  by 
population  as  the  only  possible  measure  ;  if  the  opponents  of 
that  measure  could  suggest  another  remedy,  he  was  willing  to 
give  it  his  candid  consideration,  and  he  was  quite  certain  that 
the  large  constituency  he  repi-esentcd  would  support  him  in 
considering  any  measure  which  would  place  it  out  of  the  power 
of  the  Government  of  the  day  to  perpetrate  sectional  injus- 
tice." 

As  the  se.ssion  advanced,  it  became  quite  evident  that  the 
Government  were  weakening.  The  formidable  attacks  upon 
their  policy  and  their  maladministration  of  public  atl'airs 
disturbed  many  of  their  most  ardent  supporters,  and  if  a 
suitable  opportunity  arose  for  the  withdi-awal  of  that  conti- 
donce,  it  was  quite  evident  they  would  be  ejected  from  power. 
On  the  25th  of  April,  Attorney-General  Macdonald  introduce*! 
a  bill  respecting  the  militia,  the  object  of  the  bill  being  to 
reorganize  the  militia  for  defensive  purposes.  If  accepted 
by  the  House,  according  to  the  statement  of  the  mover,  the 
bill  would  involve  an  expenditure  of  over  a  million  of  dollars, 


146 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


and  the  annual  training  of  from  thirty  thousand  to  fifty 
thousand  men.  Strong  objection  was  taken  to  the  measure, 
partly  on  the  ground  of  expense,  and  partly  because  of  the 
absurdity  of  a  scheme  which,  for  defensive  purposes,  though 
somewhat  ambitious,  would  be  totally  inadequate.  On  the 
20th  of  May  the  bill  was  rejected  by  a  vote  of  61  to  54,  the 
main  defection  in  the  Ministerial  ranks,  by  which  its  defeat 
was  a  plished,  being  among  the  supporters  of  the  Govern- 
ment from  Lower  Canada.  On  the  following  day  the  Govern- 
ment resigned,  and  the  Cartier-Macdonald  coalition  was  no 
more. 


CHAPTER   IX. 


A  LIBERAL  GOVERNMENT. 


The  Macdonald  Sicotte  Administration — Debate  on  Representation  by  Popu- 
lation— The  Separate  School  Law — Return  of  Mr.  Brown  for  Oxford — 
The  Double  Majority  Principle  — Recoustructiou  of  tlie  Cabinet — Hon, 
Oliver  Mowat,  Postmaster- General. 


^/'^|l:%  he  country  was  greatly  surprised  \Ylien  Mr.  Sand- 
K/^*^r«  ^^^'^  Macdonald  was  called  upon  to  form  aa  ad- 
(>/3^^a  ministration.  Although  the  defeat  of  the  prev- 
r^-^-*ri  ious  administration  took  place  on  the  Militia  Bill, 

Mf*  the  assaults  upon  their  financial  policy  and  particularly 
the  discontent  in  Upper  Canada  with  the  action  of  the 
Government  on  the  question  of  representation  were  the  real 
cause  of  its  weakness  and  ultimate  defeat.  On  the  great  issue 
between  the  two  parties — representation  by  population — Mr. 
Sandfield  Macdonald  had  always  supported  the  defunct  Car- 
tier- Macdonald  coalition.  He  was  in  no  sense  the  leader  of 
any  party  in  the  House,  and  had,  therefore,  no  claims  upon  the 
notice  of  His  Excellency.  However,  he  accepted  the  responsi- 
bility of  forming  a  new  Government,  and  adroitly  managed  to 
secure  the  co-operation  of  leading  Liberals  both  from  Upper 
and  Lower  Canada.  Mr.  Foley,  who  had  been  formally  ap- 
pointed leader  of  the  Opposition,  he  made  Postmaster-General ; 
Mr.  Wm.  MacDouoall,  one  of  the  most  advanced  Liberals  of 
this  Hou.se,  he  made  Commissioner  of  Crown  Lands ;  Mr.  Sic- 
otte, the  candidate  of  the  Liberals  for  the  Speakership  at  the 

U7 


148 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDER  MACKEXZIE. 


opening  of  the  session,  and  the  recognized  leader  of  the  party 
in  Lower  Canada,  was  appointed  Attorney-General  East. 
And  Mr.  D'Arcy  McGee,  whose  attacks  upon  tiie  coalition 
cost  them  many  a  vote,  he  made  President  of  the  Council. 

The  Liberal  party  througliout  the  country  was  greatly  disap- 
pointed at  the  turn  matters  had  taken.  Tiie  coalition  that  had 
so  long  resisted  their  demand  for  representation  by  population 
had  been  ignominiously  defeated,  and  a  new  Government  estab- 
lished, composed  of  Liberals,  it  is  true,  but  formed  on  the  dis- 
tinct understanding  that  the  great  issue  of  the  last  election  was 
to  be  t  "t  aside,  and  the  old,  worn-out  pi'inciple,  known  as  the 
"  double  majority,"  substituted.  Although  Mr.  Sandfield  Mac- 
donald  had  not  supported  the  policy  of  the  Liberal  party  in 
the  Assembly,  he  was  evidently  deeply  impressed  with  the  in- 
justice done  to  Upper  Canada  by  the  coalition,  which  kept 
itself  in  power  by  the  Lower  Canadian  contingent.  To  refuse, 
absolutely,  any  redress  to  the  wrongs  of  the  Up{)er  Canadians, 
v,'as  a  position  which  he  dare  not  take  and,  therefore,  instead 
of  advocating  the  bold  and  clear-cut  policy,  of  which  the  Uon. 
Gro.  Brown  was  the  exponent,  he  adopted  the  double  majority 
roniprouiisc,  which  simply  wns,  as  previously  explaineil,  that 
no  measure  specially  allecting  one  province  should  be  forced 
upon  it  without  the  concurrence  cf  the  majority  of  its  repre- 
sentatives. 

The  GloJte  was  unsparing  in  its  criticism  of  the  Liberals  who 
joined  Mr.  Saiidtield  Macdonald's  Government,  as  only  a  year 
had  cla])sed  since  they  had  pledged  themselves  to  their  constit- 
uents to  insist  upon  the  rights  of  Upi)er  Canada;  to  join  an 
administration  that  was  pleilged  not  to  disturb  the  equality  ot" 
the  existing  representation  during  that  parliament,  was 
declared  to  bo  a  breach  of  ti-ust,  ami  unworthy  of  the  profes 
sious    they   had    made;   and,    although    the    minor    nieasuriv^" 


'M 


1 


A  LIBERAL  OOVEUNMENT. 


149 


i  party 
East, 
jalitiou 
il. 

T  disa[:- 
mt  had 
)ulatiou 
t  estab- 
tUe  dis- 
,ion  was 
n  as  the 
ild  Mac- 
party  in 
h  the  in- 
ich  kept 
'o  refuse, 
inadiaiis, 
,  instead 
he  Uou. 
najority 
led,  that 
c  forced 
s  repre- 

i-als  who 
a  year 
eonstit- 
joiii  au 
jiaUty  ot* 
fit,    was 
I'  proi'cs 
icasures 


promised  by  the  Government,  such  as  retrenchment,  an  amend- 
ment to  the  mihtia  law,  a  new  insolvent  law  and  a  re-adjust- 
ment of  the  tariff,  were  all  good  enough  in  themselves,  still, 
nothing  would  condone  their  breach  of  faith  in  the  great  issue 
of  the  previous  election.  Had  these  Liberals  promised  Mr. 
Sandtield  Macdonald  an  outside  support,  instead  of  joining  his 
Government,  Mr.  Brown  would  not  have  complained.  He 
thought  the  opportunity  had  thus  arisen  for  redressing  the 
wrongs  of  Upper  Canada,  and  the  defaulting  Liberals  were  to 
blame  for  the  postponement  of  the  desired  relief.  The  weight 
of  opinion  among  Liberals,  and  in  this  the  GJohe  shared,  not- 
withstanding its  denunciations  of  the  individual  members  of 
the  Government,  was,  that  Sandlield  Macdonald's  administra- 
tion should  receive  a  fair  trial. 

An  attack  by  Mr.  John  Hillyard  Cameron  upon  the  now 
Ministers  while  they  were  seeking  re-election  after  accepting 
office,  brought  out  an  admirable  reply  from  Mr.  Mackenzie, 
which  may  be  said  to  represent  the  views  of  the  party.  "  Ho 
did  not  believe  that  the  double  majority  principle  was  a  remedy 
for  the  grievances  of  Upper  Canada,  though  it  might  answer 
as  a  temporary  expedient.  And  he  felt  deeply  grieved  when 
the  new  administration  announced  their  formation  on  that 
principle.  He  thought  the  proper  course  was  to  adhere  iirndy 
to  the  Liberal  policy  and  try  to  force  it  on  every  Government 
formed.  For  his  own  part  he  could  not,  on  any  account, 
abamlon  his  advocacy  of  that  policy,  although  he  felt  himself 
bound  to  defend  those  gentlemen  who  thought  themselves 
justified  in  postponing  active  cllbrt  for  a  time,  for  the  accom- 
plishment of  a  present  purpose.  A  change  of  Government 
having  bt  in.  made,  ho  had  to  choose  between  the  new  men  who 
asserted  nd  believed  they  had  a  remedy,  and  the  old  men  who 
did  not  admit  the  existence  of  the  evil." 


"MSr 


150 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Other  leading  Liberals,  such  as  Mowat,  Connor,  McTvellar, 
Stirton,  Eymal  and  Scatcherd,  gave  expression  to  similar 
sentiments,  and  generously  awaited  the  re-election  of  Ministers 
and  a  fuller  exposition  of  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's  policy, 
reserving  to  themselves  the  right  to  deal  with  the  Government 
on  the  question  of  representation  by  population,  as  they  might 
deem  expedient. 

Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's  position  as  Premier  was  beset 
with  many  embarrassments.  He  had  no  claim  upon  the  Con- 
servative party  for  support,  and  could  not  look  for  help  from 
that  quarter.  The  Liberals  in  Upper  and  Lower  Canada  were 
lacking  in  enthusiasm,  on  account  of  his  abandonment  of  the 
principal  plank  in  the  Liberal  platform ;  and  in  January, 
18G3,  Mr.  A.  A.  Dorion,  because  of  a  disagreement  with  his 
chief  regarding  the  Intercolonial  Railway,  resigned. 


Wlien  Mr.  Macdonald  met  the  House,  on  the  12th  of  Febru- 
ary, it  was  with  misgivings  as  to  how  his  Government  should 
fare.  He  had  not  long  to  wait  for  the  first  shock.  On  the 
19th  of  February  Mr.  M.  0.  Cameron  moved  an  amendment 
to  the  address  in  reply,  in  precisely  the  same  \vords  as  the 
amendment  moved  by  Mr.  MacDougall  the  year  before,  when 
the  Curticr-Macdonald  administration  was  in  power.  This 
amendment  was  defeated  on  a  vote  of  42  to  04.     Mr.  Macilou- 


I 


A  LI  BE  HAL  aOVEliSMEXT. 


i.>l 


Fcbni- 
slioiilcl 

111  the 
id  men  t 

as  tlic 
.  when 
This 

Mcdon- 


ald's majority  consisted  principally  of  his  Lower  Canadian 
su[)porters.  The  members  of  the  Cabinet  from  Upper  Canada 
were,  no  doubt,  greatly  embarrassed  at  having  to  vote  against 
a  resolution  which  they  had  supported  the  previous  session  ; 
especially  as  the  other  Liberals  in  the  House  were  united  iu 
their  vindication  of  the  policy  of  the  party. 

The  debate,  which  was  continued  for  several  days,  was  a 
very  spirited  cno.  The  Ministerialists  sheltered  thems-jlvcs 
behind  the  policy  of  a  double  majoi'ity  ;  while  the  Opposi- 
tion endeavoured  to  show  that  the  Upper  Canada  section 
of  the  Government  was  inconsistent  in  nbandoninu"  the 
principle  of  representation  by  population.  Mr.  Mackenzie 
pointed  out  that  iu  addition  to  this  great  question  there  were 
other  issues.  He  saiil  ;  "The  (piestion  of  the  tlay  was 
the  ejoction  from  power  of  the  late  corrupt,  unprincipled 
(loverninent ;  that  accomplished,  the  question  of  representa- 
tion should  be  considered  on  broad  grounds,  free  from  all  sec- 
tional spirit.  It  was  to  be  dcseply  regretted  that  mere  national 
feeling  should  be  allowed  so  to  influence  separate  sections  of 
the  countiy  as  to  create  a  desire  to  nuiintaiti  a  number  ot 
semi-independent  nations,  while  the  nation  was  nominally 
ono.  Ho  desired  and  trusted  to  see  Scotchmen,  Englishmen, 
Irishmen  and  Frenchmen  fus(>d  into  one  harmoniou.s  whole; 
that  Canada  might  be  in  reality,  as  it  was  nominally,  ono 
great  nation,  owning  and  inhabiting,  without  any  distinction 
of  race  or  creed,  the  whole  countiy,  from  the  slopes  of  tho 
K(x;ky  Mountains  to  tho  Atlantic.  Although  tho  pririciplo  of 
a  doubiO  majority  was  inadmissible,  as  it  recognized  ditlerent 
interests  in  localities  divideil  from  each  other  by  imaginary 
linos,  he  felt,  liowever,  that  in  order  to  secure  tho  blessing  of 
good  government  and  justice  to  the  west,  as  far  as  practicable, 
it  was   their  duty   to  support    the    present    administration, 


m 


152 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


reserving  to  themselves  entire  liberty  to  act  with  reference 
to  constitutional  changes  as  they  thought  proper." 

This  patriotic  speech  from  the  new  member  for  Lambton, 
during  his  second  session,  greatly  pleased  the  Liberals  from 
Upper  Canada.  His  splendid  powers  as  a  debater  were  becom- 
ing apparent  every  day,  while  his  broad  views  on  every  ques- 
tion which  he  discussed  drew  out  the  sympathies  even  of  his 
political  opponents. 

Mr.  Brown,  who, on  account  of  ill  health  and  the  pressure  of 
private  engagements,  had  refused  various  constituencies, 
consented  to  run  for  Oxford ;  and,  to  the  delight  of  his  old 
colleagues,  was  returned  to  parliament  by  a  majority  of  275. 

The  great  measure  of  1863  was  Mr.  R.  W.  Scott's  bill  respect- 
ing Separate  Schools.       Mr.    Scott   liad   introduced   the  bill 
several  times,  and  had  advanced  it  so  far  in  the  previous  ses- 
sion as  to  reach  a  division  on  its  second  reading.    The  principle 
of  Separate  Schools  was  first  introduced  into  Canada  under 
an  Act  of  184<1,  and  was  further  enlarged  by  the  Act  of  1855. 
Mr.  Scott  proposed  still  further  to  extend  the  privileges  of 
Roman  Catholics  with  regard  to  Separate  Schools.     The  main 
features  of  Mr.  Scott's  bill  were,  extending  the  facilities  for 
establishing  Separate  Schools  in   rural  districts ;   permitting 
Roman  Catholics  to  give  notice  of  their  intention  to  become 
Separate  School  supporters  once  for  all,  instead  of  annually  as 
under  the  former  Act ;  relieving  trustees  from  certifying  the 
average   attendance   of    pupils    under   oath ;    providing    for 
inspection  of  Separate  Schools  and  their  general  administration 
through  the  Council  of  Public  Instruction.     In  the  session  of 
1862    the    bill    passed   its   second  reading ;    but    owing    to 
the  defeat  of  the  Government,  it  stood  over.     The  bill  pa.ssed 
very  quickly  through  all  its  stages,  and  was  approved  by  the 


A  LIBERAL  GOVERNMENT. 


153 


jrc  of 

iicies, 
is  old 
275. 
spoct- 
e  bill 
s  ses- 
nciple 
uiuler 
1855. 

GS    of 

main 
s  for 
tting 
como 
ly  as 
tho 
for 
lation 
)n  of 
to 
\ssocl 
tho 


House  on  the  13th  March,  the  yeas  bein<^  74  and  the  nays  30. 
Wlien  the  second  reading  of  the  bill  was  under  consideration, 
Mr.  Burwell  moved,  seconded  by  Mr.  Mackenzie,  what  is  com- 
monly known  as  tlie  six  months'  hoist.     On  that  motion  Mr. 
Mackenzie  gave  his  views  on  tho  question  of  religious  instruc- 
tion.    He  opposed  the  bill  on  three  grounds  :  First,  he  feared 
it  would  be  injurious  to  the  common  school  system  of  the 
Province ;  secondly,  he  feared  it  would  lead  to  a  demand  for 
Separate   Schools  from    other   denominations  ;    thirdly,    the 
establishment  of  Separate  Schools  in  certain  localities  would 
divide  the  resources  of  the  people,  already  Aery  limited,  and 
thus  lower  the  standard  of  education..     "He  had  no  desire,"  he 
said,  "  to  make  tiiis  a  religious  question,  as  he  was  not  disposed 
to   vote  against   anv  bill,  which    even   Catholic:!    themselves 
deemed  necessary  to  secure  perfect  freedom  in  tho  exercise  of 
their  religious  faith  ;  but  as  our  school  system  was  undenomina- 
tional, the  bill  under  consideration  was  therefore  unnecessary." 
The  vote  on  this  bill  was  the  first  substantial  decision  of  the 
House  to  which  the  principle  ol:  double  majority  would  apply, 
as  31  members  from  Upper  Canada  voted  against  it,  while  its 
supporters  numbered  only  22.     Mr.  John  A.  Macdonald  rallied 
tlie  Upper  Canadian  niimbcrs  of  the  Government — MacDou- 
j;nll,  Foley,  Wilson  and  Sandtleld  Macdonald — on  their  change 
of  front  on  the  question  of  Separate  Schools,  quoting  from  the 
journals  how,  in  previous  years,  they  had  voted  either  against 
tlie  principle  of  Separate  Schools  or  for  the  repeal  of  tlie  exist- 
ing Separate  School  Act;  while  now    tiiey  were  practically 
responsible  for  a  bill  extentling  the  scope  of  Separate  Schools. 
1  lie  Premier  was  also  asked  if  the  measure  was  to  bo  forced 
on  Upper  Canada  in  the  face  of  tho  opposition  of  a  majority 
of  its  representatives.     To  this  Mr.  Sandtield  Macdonald  made 
uu  rc'ply. 


ii;l 


154 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


'!   i 


^Wi! 


The  agitation  wliicli  arose  in  Upper  Canada  on  account 
of  the  Separate  Sciiuol  policy  of  the  Government  greatly 
weakened  them  in  public  estimation.  Although  in  their 
general  policy  they  were  generously  supported  by  the 
Liberal  party  under  the  leadership  of  Mr.  Brown,  the  feeling 
cxcrywhere  prevailed  that  they  were  not  a  i-epresentative 
Libei-ul  Government  This  feeling,  together  with  the  unfortu- 
nate condition  of  the  finances  of  the  country,  so  encouraged 
the  Ojiposition  that  on  the  first  of  May  Mr.  John  A.  Mac- 
donald,  seconded  by  Mr.  Cartier,  moved  a  direct  vote  of  want 
of  confidence  on  going  into  supply.  On  the  Friday  following 
the  vote  was  reached,  and  the  Government  was  defeated  by  a 
majority  of  five.  On  the  11th  of  May,  Mr.  Sandfield  Mac- 
donald  announced  his  intention  of  proroguing  the  House  the 
following  dav,  and  intimated  that  dissolution  would  imme- 
diately    follow. 

In  order  to  strengthen  himself  witli  the  Liberal  party, 
several  changes  of  an  important  character  were  made  in 
the  Government  During  the  session  ^L•.  James  Morris  re- 
tired on  account  of  ill-health,  and  was  succeeded  by  Mr. 
Ferffusson-Blair  as  Receiver-General.  Mr.  Adam  Wilson  ceased 
to  be  Solicitor-General  and  accepted  a  seat  on  the  Bench.  His 
place  was  not  filled  for  several  months.  Mr.  Dorion  displaced 
Mr.  Sicotte  as  leader  of  the  Lower  Canada  contingent,  and 
associated  with  himself  L.  H.  Holton  as  Minister  of  Finance, 
\.  Thibaudcau  as  President  of  the  Council,  Lctellier  De 
Saint-Just  as  Minister  of  Agriculture,  L.  S.  Huntington  as 
Solicitor-General  East,  and  M.  Laframboise  as  Conmiissioner 
of  Public  Works.  The  only  change  in  Upper  Canada  was  the 
displacement  of  M.  H.  Foley  by  Oliver  Mowat  as  Postmas- 
ter-General. 


A  LIBERAL  GOVERXMEXT. 


155 


The  effect  upon  the  Liberal  party  of  the  temporisincj  pol- 
icy adopted  by  Mr.  Sandtield  Macdonald  forms  one  of  the 
most  interesting  chapters  in  Canadian  politics.  What  the 
result  was  likely  to  be,  was  clearly  foreseen  by  Mr.  Macken- 
zie.    Opposed,  as  he   was,  to  a  coalition  of  political  parties. 


^^^<^<y^ 


he  was  unable  to  give  his  fullest  confidence  even  to  a 
so-called  Liberal  Government  that  accepted  power  with  at 
least  two  Conservative  planks  in  its  platform.  Its  depend- 
ence upon  its  opponents,  on  the  two  great  issues  of  Repre- 
sentation by  Population  and  Separate  Schools,  had  a  demoral- 
ising effect  on  many  of  its  supporters,  and  the  animadversion 
which  the  leaders  of  the  Liberal  party  were  obliged  to  pro- 
nounce on  its  conduct  with  respect  to  those  two  great  meas- 
ures, naturally  created  some  irritation.  To  bo  held  up  to 
contempt  by  one  party  for  treachery,  and  to  be  claimed 
as  political  allies  by  the  other  party,  was  the  recludio  ad 
ahsiirdtiiii  of  political  consistency.  To  a  Liberal  like  Mr. 
Mackenzie,  whose  political  convictions  were  part  of  his  moral 
nature,  the  effect  of  such  entangling  associations  could  only 
result,  in  his  opinion,  to  the  injury  of  the  party ;  and  so  it 
was.  Foley,  McGee,  and  the  Lowur  Canadian  members  of  the 
Government  who  were  displaced  on  the  reconstruction  of  the 
Cabinet,  became  its  most  pronounced  and  dangerous  oppo- 
nents, and  before  many  years  had  elapsed,  Mr.  Sandfield  Mac- 
donald himself,  and  all  his   colleagues  from    Upper   Canada, 


mm 


156 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MAC  KEN  X,  IB. 


with  fhe  exception  of  Mr.  Mowat,  were  found  in  the  ranks  of 
the  Conservative  party.  Had  the  Liberals  acted  as  Mr. 
Mackenzie's  high  sense  of  duty  suggested,  there  would 
have  been  no  abnegation  of  party  policy  for  the  sake  of  power, 
and  a  Liberal  Government,  when  formed,  would  have  a  right 
to  claim  the  undivided  loyalty  of  the  whole  party. 


lil 


CHAPTER  X. 

WEAKNESS  OF    SANDFIELD    MACDONALD's  ADMINISTRATION. 

General  Election —Mr.  Wallbridge,  Speaker — Narrow  Majority  of  the  Govern 
inent — Losses  in  By-Elections — Tlic  Government  Unable  to  Proceed — Re 
si  nc(10frice2l8t  Marcli,  1SG4-  Formation  of  the  Tach6-Macdonalil  Adminis- 
tration—Pro.uibcs  of  the  New  Government — Committee  ou  Representation. 


?^  HE  dissolution  of  tlio  House  immediately  followed 
r;;^  prorogation,  and  the  whole  country  gave  itself  over 
to  an  election  contest  of  unusual  interest.  Mr. 
Sandfield  Macdonald  had  a  strong  Cabinet,  all 
capable  of  defending  their  chief  as  well  as  themselves. 
During  their  brief  term  of  office,  they  reduced  the  ex- 
penditure of  the  country  and  administered  public  affairs  with 
a  due  regard  to  constitutional  usages  and  the  will  of  Parliament. 
Still  many  Liberals  stood  aloof  from  them  because  of  their 
attitude  on  the  question  of  Representation  by  Population  and 
Si^parate  Schools. 

Mr.  Mackenzie,  with  his  usual  vigor,  lost  no  time  in  placing 
his  views  before  his  constituents.  In  his  address  to  the  elect- 
ors of  Lambton,  he  says :  "  The  attempt  to  substitute  the  Double 
Mnjority  principle  for  Representation  by  Population,  as  a 
remedy  for  our  natural  difficulties,  (to  which  the  Liberal  party 
never  assented),  has  been  an  entire  failure.  A  policy  raoro 
consistent  with  the  demands  of  Upper  Canada  has  been 
adopted,  and  members  of  the  Cabinet  arc  now  at  libort}-  to  ad- 
vocate constitutional  (juestions   with    perfect  free<lom.     It    is 

157 


158 


LIFE  OF  THE  II OX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


true  this  is  not  enough;  but  making  the  representation  question 
an  open  one,  is  a  step  in  the  right  direction,  and  although  I 
cannot  rest  satisfied  with  that,  I  am  convinced  that  nothing 
more  can  be  gained  in  the  meantime ;  I  tl'.crefor>3  accept  the 
full  responsibility  of  giving  them  a  generous  support." 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  career  during  his  brief  parliamentary  term 
was  not  lost  sight  of  by  his  constituents.  Mr.  Robert  Rae, 
warden  of  the  county,  who  had  seconded  his  nomination  two 
years  previously,  in  proposing  him  as  a  candidate  for  a  second 
term,  spoke  of  him  "  as  having  exceeded  the  most  sanguine  ex- 
pectation of  his  friends,  and  as  entitled  to  the  confidence  of 
all  parties  who  were  in  favor  of  good  government."  So  strong- 
ly had  he  impressed  himself  upon  his  constituents  and  the 
country,  that  all  opposition  was  withdrawn,  and  the  return- 
ing officer  declared  him  elected  by  acclamation.  This  mark  of 
public  approval  was  very  much  appreciated. 

Throughout  the  whole  of  Canada,  the  contest  was  conducted 
with  great  energy  on  both  sides,  twenty-one  members  only 
being  elected  without  opposition.  Two  of  Mr.  Sandfield  Mac- 
donald's   colleagues,   Doriou  and  Hoi  ton,  were   defeated,  but 


^^•^•^•fc**''^^ 


c^  ^^/^^^^t:^ti!:i^ 


found  seats  in  other  constituencies.  Mr.  Druramond,  his  Com- 
missioner of  Public  Works,  who  was  defeated  in  two  constitu- 
encies, resigned.  In  summing  up  the  result  of  the  election, 
it  was  claimed  that  43  supporters  of  the  Government  were 
elected  for  Upper  Canada,  and  29  for  Lower  Canada.  Eight 
of  the  elected  members  from  Upper  Canada  were  considered 
independent.     It  was  claimed  by  the  Liberals,  however,  that 


SAXDFIELD  MACDOXALD'S  ADMINISTRATION. 


159 


Com- 

istitu- 

ction, 

were 

Eight 

Idered 

that 


one-half  of  these,  at  least,  would  sup>port  the  Government;  this 
would  give  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald  a  fair  working  majority. 

Parliament  was  summoned  for  the  despatch  of  business  on 
the  13th  of  August,  and  the  Hon.  Lewis  Wallbridge  was  elect- 
ed Speaker  on  a  vote  of  sixty-six  to  fifty-eight,  several  of 
the  independent  members  supporting  the  Ministerial  nominee. 
The  first  substantial  test,  however,  of  party  strength  took 
place  on  the  address  in  reply  on  an  amendment  of  Mi*.  Sicottc, 
seconded  by  Mr.  Foley,  both  members  of  the  previous  adminis- 
tration. After  a  debate,  which  continued  until  the  29th  of 
August,  the  House  divided,  sixty  members  voting  for  the 
amendment,  and  sixty-three  for  the  Government.  This  was 
not  a  very  comfortable  outlook  for  th'^  new  administration. 
From  the  beginning  of  the  session,  it  was  quite  evident  that 
the  Government  would  have  no  quarter.  Mr.  Sicotte,  Mr.  Mc- 
Gee  and  Mr.  Foley  were  most  bitter  in  their  hostility,  and  lost 
no  opportunity  to  attack  them  in  every  conceivable  manner. 
The  majority  of  the  Government  was  so  small  as  practically  to 
tie  their  hands,  and  it  was  only  by  the  greatest  care  and  fore- 
thought, that  any  measure  of  a  comprehensive  character  could 
be  carried  through  the  House. 

Although  supported  by  a  majority  from  Upper  Canada,  they 
were  in  the  minority  in  Lower  Canada,  and  of  this  the  Oppo- 
sition was  not  slow  to  take  advantage.  A  vote  of  want  of 
confidence,  moved  by  Mr.  Gait,  drew  out  a  very  caustic  speech 
from  Mr.  Mackenzie,  in  which  he  charged  certain  opponents 
of  the  Government  with  the  violation  of  their  pledges  to  their 
constituents,  and  the  Opposition,  generally,  with  obstructing 
the  business  of  the  House.  The  Government  was  again  sus- 
tained by  the  narrow  majority  of  three.  The  only  public 
measure  of  any  moment  which  passed  the  House  was  the  act 
respecting  the  militia.     On  the  15th  of  October  the  House  was 


IGO 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


m 


prorogued.  During  the  recess,  Mr.  N.  A.  Richards  was  ap- 
pointed to  the  vacant  Solicitor-Generalship,  but  in  appealing 
to  his  constituents,  was  defeated,  and  accordingly  resigned. 

•On  the  IGth  of  February,  18G4, — a  year  long  to  be  remem- 
bered in  the  political  history  of  Canada, — Mr.  Sandtield  Mac- 
donald  again  met  Parliament.     During  his  brief  term  of  office 
he  had  practised  the  most  rigid  retrenchment ;  had  conducted 
the  Government  with  great  energy  and  prudence,  and  had  cer- 
tainly strong  claims  upon  the  confidence  of  the   country.     It 
was  impossible,  however,  for  any  Government  to  exist  on  so 
narrow  a  majority,  and  as  he  could  not  again  ask  for  an  ap- 
peal to  the  country,  the  only  alternative  was  to  strengthen  his 
position  or  resign,  as  the  absence  through  illness  or  any  other 
cause  of  two  of  his  supporters  meant  defeat.     Accordingly,  on 
the  21st  of  March,  he  placed  his  resignation  in  the  hands  of  the 
Governor-General,  and  Mr.  Fergusson-Blair  was  called  upon  to 
form  a  new  administration.     Being  unable   to    obtain  the  re- 
quired support,  Mr.  Cartier  was  next  called  upon.     Mr.  Cartier 
having  failed,  Sir  E.  P.  Tachd  was  then  sent  for  by  His  Ex- 
cellency. Sir  E.  P.  Tachd  made  overtures  to  the  Liberals,  with 
a  view  to  the  formation  of  another  coalition,  but   these   were 
unanimously  rejectdl,  the  experience  of  the  Liberal  party  with 
the  Cartier-Macdonald  coalition  havincr  satisfied  them  as  to  the 
dangerous   character  of  political  alliances  involving   the  tem- 
porary suspension,  at  least,  of  the  policy  of  each  party.     After 
negotiations, which  were  not  closed  until  the  '31st   of    March, 
Sir  E.  P.  Tachd  succeeded  at  last  in  forming    a  Government, 
in  which  ^IcGee  and  Foley,  members  of  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdon- 
ald's  first  administration,  held   seats.      The  Upper   Canadian 
section  of  the  Government  consisted  of  J,  A.  Macdonald,  Attor- 
ney-General West,  Alex.  Campbell,  Commissioner  of  Crown 
Lands,  M.  H.  Foley,  Postmaster-General,  Isaac  Buchanan,  Pre- 


SAXDFIELD  MACDOXALD'S  ADMIXISTBATIOX. 


IGl 


sideiit  of  the  Council,  John    Simpson,    Provincial    Secretary, 
and  Jas.  Cockburn,  Solicitor-General  West. 

Mr.  Foley's  action  in  entering  what  was  a  purely  Conserva- 
tive Government  was  a  groat  (lisappointniout  to  the  Liberals 
of  Upper  Canada.  Having  been  formerly  leader  of  the  Liber- 
al party,  and  an  active  supporter  of  the  Sand  Held  Macdonald 
administration,  his  acceptance  of  an  office  in  the  Government 
of  which  Tachd  and  J.  A.  Macdonald  were  members,  was  looked 
upon  with  considerable  disfavor.  Two  years  before,  he  had 
cliarL^ed  the  Cartier-Macdonald  administration  with  the  most 
reckless,  wanton  extravagance,  and  with  every  other  poli- 
tical otience  unworthy  of  a  Government ;  now  he  was  one 
of  their  warmest  supporters.  Mr.  McGee  had  taken  similar 
ground,  and  Mr.  Cockburn  had  promised  the  electors  to  stand 
up  for  the  principle  of  representation.  The  imlignation  of 
the  people  in  Mr.  Foley's  case  resulted  in  his  defeat  at  the 
polls  by  Mr.  Isaac  Bowman.  To  this  defeat  Mr.  Mackenzie 
contributed  no  inconsiderable  assistance,  and  met  repeatedly 
not  only  Mr.  Foley  but  Mr.  McGee  durini^-  the  contest,  to  the 
great  discomfort  of  both  gentlemen. 

On  the  3rd  of  May  the  House  re- assembled,  and  on  the  4th 
J.  A.  Macdonald  announced  the  policy  of  the  new  administra- 
tion. He  declared  that  they  were  favorable  to  the  renewal  of 
the  reciprocity  treaty  with  the  United  States,  departmental 
leform,  retrenchment,  the  settlement  of  public  lands,  and 
early  communication  by  railway  with  the  Maritime  Provinces. 
The  question  of  Representation  by  Population  was  to  remain 
in  abeyance. 

On  the  14)th  of  March,  seventeen  days  before  the  resigna- 
tion of  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's  Government,   Mr.   George 

Brown  moved  a  resolution,  based  upon  a  despatcli  to  the  Col- 
K 


i 


162 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


I 


onial  Minister,  signed  by  Cartier,  Gait  and  Ross,  members  of 
the  Government  of  the  day,  in  whicli  they  declared  "  that 
great  difficulties  presented  themselves  in  conducting  the  gov- 
ernment of  Canada  in  such  a  manner  as  to  show  due  regard 
to  the  wishes  of  its  numerous  population  ;  that  the  harmonious 
working  of  the  constitutional  system  of  Canada  was  in  dan- 
ger,  and  that  some  mode  of  dealing  with  the  difficulties, 
with  a  view  to  their  removal,  was  desirable."  The 
resolution  closed  with  a  request  for  the  appointment  of 
a  select  committee  of  twenty  members,  to  report  upon 
the  best  means  of  remedying  the  evils  set  forth  in  the 
said  despatch,  the  committee  to  be  composed  of  Messrs. 
Cameron,  Cartier,  Cockburn,  Chapais,  Dickson,  Dorion,  A.  A., 
Dunkin,  Mowat,  Gait,  Holton,  Joly,  Macdonald,  John  A.,  Mac- 
donald,  John  S.,  MacDougall,  McGee,  McKcllar,  Scoble,  Street 
and  the  mover.  On  the  19th  of  May,  a  decision  on  this  motion 
was  reached,  and  the  appointment  of  a  committee  agreed  to 
on  a  vote  of  .59  to  48,  although  opposed  by  the  leader  of  the 
Government,  John  A.  Macdonald,  and  his  colleague  from 
Lower  Canada,  Mr.  Cartier. 

On  the  14th  of  June,  Mr.  Brown  reported  "  that  the  com- 
mittee had  held  eight  sittings  and  had  endeavored  to  find  some 
solution  for  existing  difficulties,  likely  to  receive  the  assent 
of  both  sections  of  the  Province.  A  strong  feeling  was  found 
to  exist  among  the  nuMnbers  of  the  committee  iii  favor  ol 
changes  in  the  direction  of  a  federative  system,  applied  eithoi' 
to  Canada  alone,  or  to  the  whole  British  North  American 
Provinces  ;  and  such  progress  had  been  made  as  to  warrant  tliL- 
connnittee  iu  rcconunending  that  the  subject  be  again  i-eferre«l 
to  a  committee  at  the  next  session  of  Parliament."  The  onl\' 
members  of  the  committee  who  opposed   the  adoption  of  thj 


SANDFIELD  MACDONALD'S  ADMINISTRATION. 


163 


some 

;seiit 

iiid 

oi 

ther 

'ican 

thr 

•rod 
)iily 


report  were  John  A.  Macdonakl,  John  S.  Macdonald  and 
Scoble.  On  the  same  day  the  Government  was  defeated  on  a 
vote  of  censure  proposed  by  Mr.  Dorion,  because  of  an  advance 
of  100,000  dollars  for  the  redemption  of  Montreal  City  bonds, 
without  the  authority  of  Parliament.  Messrs.  Dunkin  and 
Rankin,  who  had  usually  voted  with  the  Conservative  party, 
voted  with  Mr.  Dorion  on  this  resolution,  giving  the  Opposi- 
tion a  majority  of  two  against  the  Government. 

During  the  session,  which  closed  on  the  30bh  day  of  June, 
Mr.  Mackenzie  applied  himself  to  his  Parliamentary  duties 
with  much  diligence.  As  chairman  of  the  joint  committee  of 
both  Houses  on  printing,  he  exhibited  decided  capacity  in  the 
despatch  of  business,  and  fairness  in  dealing  with  all  matters 
referred  to  him.  In  the  House  he  displayed  great  aptitude  in 
debate,  and  although  his  speeches  did  not  attract  as  much 
attention  as  in  the  previous  session,  his  observations  on  many 
of  the  questions  that  came  before  him  impressed  the  members 
with  the  extent  of  his  general  information,  his  knowledge  of 
the  rules  of  the  House  and  his  ability,  when  called  upon,  to 
express  himself  intelligently  on  all  public  questions.  Had  he 
been  less  diffident  he  might  have  attracted  more  notice,  but  he 
regarded  himself  still  as  a  young  member,  and  in  the  presence 
uf  the  great  leaders  of  the  party  he  deemed  it  unnecessary  to 
reiterate  opinions  that,  as  a  rule,  were  fully  expressed  by  those 
entitled  to  precedence  in  debate. 

In  speaking  of  the  career  of  the  administration,  the  Glohe  of 
Miucii  22nd  contains  the  following:  "  The  Macdonald-Dorion 
administration  has  not  enjoyed  a  long  existence,  and  a  very 
lirilliant  career  was  not,  under  the  circumstances,  within  the 
scope  of  possibility.  But,  in  the  practical  routine  of  adminis- 
tering public  iillairs,  it  has  earned  the  hearty  gratitude  of  the 


mil- 1  III -^^^..ja^ 


164 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


public,  and  there  has  been  a  total  absence  of  the  jobbery  and 
corruption  that  lias  disgraced  our  country  for  many  years. 
We  had  not  infrequently  to  dissent  from  the  policy  of  the 
Government  that  has  just  expired,  but  under  all  the  circum- 
stances we  cannot  but  feel  that  the  country  has  deep  cause  to 
regret  that  it  was  not  permitted  to  complete  the  measures  of 
reform  upon  which  it  had  euteied." 


W?^ 


CHAPTER  XL 


rOMTIOAL   DEAD-I.OCK. 


Political  Di'ad-Lock— TTou.  Mr.  Ri'owii's  ofTer  of  Assistance— Report  of  the 
Coiiiiiiittce  oil  tiie  Federation  of  tlie  Provinces — h^onntition  of  ji  Coiilitiou — 
Mr.  Mackenzie's  attitude  ou  this  Question —Tlic  Policy  of  the  New  Cabinet. 


Rm'- //mvw^ '^■^  ^^^  "^^^'  ontcrinnf  one   of  the   most    interesting 
h'M'imfa/'-'''     periods  of  Canadian  history.    The  union  of  1S41, 
^.. -,^y>-  ,  J     whicli  was  intended  to  abolish  the  war  of  races 
^fl^;j'lih>^     ill  Canada,  and  introduce  a  political  millennium, 
f'^ji'     was  on  its  linal  ti-ial.     That  community  of  action  be- 
tween the  two  Provinces,  which  it  was  expected  to  pro- 
iuiC(\  seemed  to  be  as  remote  as  e\t'r.     Lower  Canada,  as  already 
stated,  elun^'  to  ils  rights  under  the  Union  Act ;    and  Upper 
Canada  was  clamorous  for  the  political   inHuenco   to  which   it 
was  entitled  on  accoimt  of  its  pojiulation  and  wealth.     Ivich 
ijartv  had    held  itself    in   power  at  times  by   alliances   with 
Lower  Canada,  and  where  alliances  on  strictly  political  pi'in- 
ciplcs  failed,  both  parties  resortt>d    to   the  vicious  principle  of 
iU'ouJition.     Appeals  to  the  I'uH'tors  were  made,  at  1)rief  inter- 
vals, bv  a  Liberal  Uo\einment  and  by  a  Conser\a(i\('  fjov- 
iTument,  but  with  no  very  satisfnetory  I'esult,   and  thouofhtful 
men  boofun  to  ask  the  (luestion   what  the  end   wiodd    lie.     To 
dissolve  the  union  and  to  restore  a  puny  provincialism  was  dis- 
tasteful to  all.     To  continue  a   union,  which  fostereil    faction 
rather  than  patriotism,  and  whose  political  lionor  was    at  the 

mercy  of  any  cabal  that  chose  to  plot  aoauist  it,  was  not  a  very 

1()5 


■IIMH«MMH 


^ 


166 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


pleasant  outlook.  The  double  majority  principle  had  been 
tried  and  proved  a  failure.  What  was  to  be  done?  There 
seemed  to  be  but  one  way  out  of  the  difficulty,  and  that  was 
on  the  lines  of  the  report  submitted  by  Mr.  Brown.  But  Mr. 
John  A.  Maedonald  had  voted  against  the  adoption  of  that 
report.  He  was  the  head  of  the  Upper  Canadian  section  of  the 
Government,  and  the  leading  spirit  in  his  party  ;  as  opposed  to 
him  was  Mr.  Brown,  the  leader  of  the  Opposition,  with  a  strong 
majority  from  Upper  Canada.  Unless  some  compromise  could 
be  effected  between  the  two  parties,  the  question  must  be 
referred  to  the  people  ;  and  another  general  election  within  the 
year  was  not  to  be  desired. 

The  report  of  Mr.  Brown's  committee  on  constitutional  diffi- 
culties, suggesting  a  federation  either  of  the  Canadas  alone,  or 
of  the  Bi'itish  American  Provinces,  had  just  been  laid  on  the 
table.  Would  this  solve  the  question,  is  what  occurred  to 
many  members  of  the  House.  Faction  had  long  been  at  the 
helm  of  state,  why  not  change  the  pilot  ?  The  grave  character 
of  the  situation  was  so  deeply  felt  by  both  sides  of  the  House, 
that  the  smallest  hint  suggesting  relief  was  eagerly  seized 
upon.  Such  a  hint  came  from  Mr.  Brown  himself.  He  had 
by  a  large  majority  secured  the  appointment  of  his  committee. 
The  committee  after  duly  considering  the  situation  had,  by  a 
vote  of  twelve  to  tliree,  expressed  a  strong  feeling  in  favor  of 
federation.  The  Covcrnment  had  the  authority  of  His  Excel- 
lency to  dissolve  and  appeal  to  the  country.  In  case  of  such 
an  appeal,  the  Liberal  party  had  reason  to  believe  they  would 
be  successful.  Should  they  abandon  the  prospects  of  a  party 
triumph  at  the  polls,  or  should  they  settle  now,  if  possible,  their 
constitutional  difficulties  by  generously  offering  the  Govern- 
iiu'ut  their  assistance  on  the  lines  of  the  report  of  Mr.  Brown's 
conuaitteo  \      After   consulting    his   political    supporters,  Mr. 


CCCi- 

=uch 


uld 


|o 


|arty 

heir 

[orn- 

Iwn's 

Mr. 


Hon,  George  Brown. 


'  n^v 


I 
i 

a 
c 

si 


POLITICAL  DEAD-LOCK. 


loa 


Brown  fiscertaincrl  tliat  the  Lihernl  party  was  prepared  to 
ailupt  the  hitter  course,  and  in  order  that  the  Government 
ini^lit  be  infmnned  of  his  attitude,  he  couiinunicated  this  view 
to  Messrs.  Morris  and  Pope,  who  were  supporters  of  the  Gov- 
ernment, and  an  interview  with  Mr.  Juhn.  A.  Macdonald  and 
Mr.  Gait  was  arranged. 

Mr.  Brown  felt  great  dilTiculty  in  npproacliing  his  political 
opponents,  and  at  his  first  meeting  with  Messrs.  Macdonald 
and  Gait  frankly  confessed  "  that  nothing  but  the  extreme 
urgency  of  the  present  crisis,  and  the  hope  of  settling  the 
sectional  troubles  of  the  Province  forever,  could  justify 
>iich  a  meeting,  with  a  view  to  common  political  action." 
h\  this  opinion  Messrs.  Macdonald  ami  Gait  concurred  and 
informed  Mr.  Brown  that  they  were  not  meeting  him  simply  as 
leading  members  of  the  Ministerial  party,  but  as  members  of 
the  Government,  authorized  by  their  colleagues  to  invite  liis 
aid  in  settling  the  difficulties  between  Upper  and  Lower  Canada. 
He  expressed  his  inability,  on  personal  grounds,  to  join  the  ad- 
ministration, and  he  even  feared  that,  if  he  would  enter  a  Cab- 
inet composed  of  men  to  whom  lie  was  so  long  and  .so  strongly 
opposed,  he  would  greatly  shock  the  public  mind.  He  added.' 
"If  the  administration  would  pledge  themselves  clearly  and 
publicly  to  bring  in  a  measure,  next  session,  that  would  be  ac- 
ceptable to  U[)per  Canada,  the  basis  to  be  now  settled  and  .111- 
nt)unced  in  Parliament,  he  would  heartily  co-operate  with  them 
and  try  to  induce  his  friends  (in  ^^hich  he  Imped  to  be  success- 
ful) to  sustain  them  until  they  had  an  opportunity  of  present- 
ing their  measure  to  the  House."  Mr.  Macdonald  ui'gcd  that 
it  was  necessary  that  Mr.  Brown  should  enter  the  Government 
as  a  guarantee  of  the  bona-tjiles  of  the  Opposition  and  the  Gov- 
ernment. To  this  Mr.  Brown  objected  for  reason.s  already 
.stated.    After  further  ncg(jtiations,  the  following  memorandum 


^v5T 


170 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


was  approved  by  His  Excellency  in  council  with  logard  to  the 
situation :  "  The  Government  are  prepared  to  state  that  im- 
mediately after  the  prorogation  they  will  address  themselves, 
in  the  most  earnest  manner,  to  the  negotiation  for  a  confeder- 
ation of  all  the  British  North  American  Provinces.  That 
failing  a  successful  issue  to  such  negotiations,  they  are  pre- 
pared to  pledge  themselves  to  legislation  during  the  next  ses- 
sion of  Parliament,  for  the  purpose  of  remedying  existing  dif- 
ficulties, Ly  i  atroducing  the  federal  principle  for  Canada  alone, 
coupled  with  such  provisions  as  will  permit  the  Maritime  Prov- 
inces and  the  Noi'th-West  Territory  to  be  hereafter  incorpor- 
ated into  the  Canadian  system. 

"  That  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  on  the  negotiations  and 
settling  the  details  of  the  promised  legislation,  a  Royal  Com- 
mission shall  be  issued,  composed  of  three  members  of  the 
Government,  and  three  members  of  the  Opposit'^n,  of  whom 
Mr.  Brown  shall  be  one  ;  and  the  Government  pledge  them- 
selves to  give  all  the  influence  of  the  administration  to  secure 
to  the  said  Commission  the  means  of  advancing  the  great 
object  in  view. 

"That  subject  to  the  House  permitting  the  Government  to 
carry  through  the  pnV)lic  business,  no  dissolution  of  parliament 
shall  take  place,  but  the  administration  will  again  meet  the 
present  House." 

Having  settled  a  basis  for  the  suspension  of  party  hostility 
with  the  leaders  of  the  Government,  Mr.  Brown  called  a  meet- 
ing of  his  friends  to  ascertain  how  far  they  were  prepared  to 
support  him  in  the  negotiations  which  he  was  then  carrying 
on.  At  this  meeting  the  feeling  of  the  Liberal  party  was 
expressed  in  a  motion  made  by  Mr.  Hope  F.  Mackenzie,  an<l 
seconded  by  Mr.  McGivern  :  "  That  we  approve  of  the  course 
that  has  been  i)ursued  by  Mr.  Brown  in  his  negotiations  with 


POLITICAL  DEAD-LOCK. 


171 


m 


lity 
leet- 


the  Government,   and  that  we  approve  of  the   project  of  a 
federal  union  of  the  Canadas,  with  provision  for  its  extension 
to  the  Maritime  Provinces  ami  the  Nortn-West  Territory,  a^ 
one  basis  on  which  the  constitutional  difficulties  now  existing 
could  be  settled."     Four  members  of  the  Liberal  party  declined 
to  vote  either  yea  or  nay  on  this  motion,  namely,  Messrs. 
Biggar,  Macdonald,  D.  A.,  Macdonald,  J.  S.,  Macdonald  (Toronto) 
anil  Scatcherd.    But  with  these  exceptions  the  motion  met  with 
the  cordial  approval  of  the  party.     Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald 
then  moved  that  the  proposition  for  at  least  three  members 
of  the  Opposition  entering  the  Government  be  accepted.     This 
was  opposed  by  Mr.  A.  Mackenzie,  who  moved  in  amendment : 
"  That  the  proposition  for  three  members  entering  the  Cabinet 
be  rejected,  and  that  the  proposition  for  the  settlement  of 
sectional  difficulties  receive  an  outside  support."     Mr.   Mac- 
kenzie's  amendment   was    lost  on   a  vote  of  2G  to  11.     Its 
supporters  were  Messrs.   Bowman,  Brown,   Burnett,  Cowan, 
Dickson,  A.  Mackenzie,  H.  F.  ALackenzie,  McKellar,  Mowat, 
Scatcherd  and  Scoble. 

Being  authorized  by  the  meeting  of  his  friends  to  continue 
the  negotiations,  it  was  finally  agreed  that  he  should  enter  the 
Government  with  two  colleagues  from  Upper  Canada,  and  on 
the  30th  of  June,  Mr.  Brown  accepted  a  seat  in  the  Cabinet 
as  President  of  the  Council,  Mr.  Buchanan  having  resiuucd  to 
make  way  for  him.  His  colleagues  were:  Mr.  Mowat,  Post- 
luiistrr  General,  instead  of  Mr.  Foley,  and  Mr.  MacDougall, 
Provincial  Secretary,  in  place  of  Mr.  Simpson,  afterwards 
appointed  Assistant  Auditor  of  Pulilic  Accounts. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  had  taken  strong  ground  against  his  friends 
and  his  leader,  Mr.  Brown,  on  the  formation  of  this  coalition. 
Apart  from  his  opposition  to  coalitions  generally,  which  he 
believed  could  not  be  formed  without  the  sacrifice  of  some 


---=«i 


frnmcm 


'illM^llllli 


nm 


ITii 


LJF£  OF  THE  IJOX.  ALEXAXVEi:  MACKESZIE. 


principle,  he  feared  the  Liberal  party  would  he  used  by  Mr. 
John  A.  Macdonald  to  advance  his  own  political  interests,  and 
that  object  once  served,  occasion  would  be  found  for  disagree- 
ment, which  would  phice  the  Liberal  party  at  a  disadvantage. 
He  had  seen  the  serious  inroads  made  upon  the  Liberal  party, 
through  the  demoralizing  effects  of  previous  coalitions,  and  he 
feared  the  repetition  of  such  evil  results.  True,  the  country 
was  passing  through  a  great  crisis,  a  crisis  so  great  as  to  war- 
rant the  application  of  extraordinary  remedies,  and  although 
Mr.  Mackenzie  no  doubt  realized  this,  with  that  courage  which 
always  characteri/jed  him,  and  that  forethought  which  subse- 
quent events  verified,  he  warned  his  political  friends  of  the 
danger  to  which  they  were  exposing  themselves,  assuring 
them  at  the  same  time  of  his  cordial  support  in  settling  the 
constitutional  troubles  to  which  the  party  had  committed 
itself. 


CHAPTER  Xir. 


vm 


CONFEDERATION    IN   8I(J1IT. 

Confederation  of  tho  Ar.aritime  Provinces  to  he  considered — Delegates  called  to 
meet  at  Charlottetown.  I'rince  Julward  Island,  in  September — Reproseata- 
tives  of  tiie  (Jovernnient  in  attendance — Qticbec  Conference — Development 
of  the  Scheme— Draft  agreed  upon — Cabinet  Changes— Mr.  Maclicnzie  in 
favor  of  Confederation. 


LTHOUGH  the  federation  of  the  Provincos  had  now 
assumed,  for  the  first  time,  a  practical  form,  in  the 
two  Canadas,  the  importance  of  such  a  confedera- 
tion had  been  considered  many  years  before.  Both 
Houses  of  the  Imperial  Parliament  as  far  back  as 
LS37  adopted  a  resolution  advising  the  expediency  of  such  a 
union  of  the  British  North  American  Provinces  as  would  make 
provision  for  the  joint  regulation  and  adjustment  of  their 
common  interests.  In  1838  Lord.  Durham,  in  his  admirable 
report,  suggested  the  appointment  of  "some  joint  legislative 
authority  "  which  should  preside  over  all  questions  of  common 
interest  to  the  two  Provinces,  preserving,  however,  to  each 
Province  its  distinct  legislature,  with  authority  in  all  matters 
(if  an  exclusively  domestic  concern.  In  1849,  the  British 
American  League,  composed  of  many  of  the  leading  men  of 
Tpper  Canada,  advised  a  union  of  the  British  North  American 
Provinces,  on  mutually  advantageous  terms.  In  1856,  Mr. 
Gait  called   the  attention  of  the  House  to  the  necessity  of  a 

confederation    of   Upper  and   Lower   Canada.     In    18.59,  the 

173 


^la 


174 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDE.'  MACKENZIE. 


teiiii 


Liberals  of  Lower  Canada  issued  a  manifesto  recommending 
the  substitution  of  a  federation  for  the  then  so-called  legislative 
union,  and  in  the  same  year  the  great  reform  convention  of 
Upper  Canada  declared  "  that  the  best  practical  remedy  for 
the  evils  now  encountered  in  the  Government  of  Canada  is  to 
be  found  in  the  formation  of  two  or  more  local  Goverments,  to 
which  shall  be  committed  tiie  control  of  all  matters  of  a  local 
or  sectional  character,  and  some  joint  authority  charged  with 
such  matters  as  are  necessarily  common  to  both  sections  of  the 
Province." 

The  question  of  a  union  of  the  Provinces  was  brought  be- 
fore the  Nova  Scotia  Assembly  in  1854,  by  the  great  leaders 
of  the  Conservative  and  Liberal  parties,  Messrs.  Johnston  and 
Howe,  and  in  1857,  a  deputation  consisting  of  Mr.  Johnston 
and  Mr.  Adam  G.  Archibald  went  to  England  to  confer  with 
the  Imperial  Government  on  this  and  other  questions.  So 
strongly  were  the  Maritime  Provinces  impressed  with  the 
necessity  of  action  on  this  line,  that  the  legislatures  of  New 
Brunswick,  Nova  Scotia  and  Prince  Edward  Island  severally 
passed  resolutions  at  their  sessions  in  18G4,  authorizing  their 
respective  Governments  to  enter  into  negotiations  and  hold  a 
convention,  for  the  purpose  of  effecting  a  union  of  the  Maritime 
Provinces,  "  political,  legislative,  and  fiscal."  That  convention 
was  appointed  to  meet  at  Charlottetowu,  Prince  Edward 
Island,  in  the  month  of  September. 

It  is  a  somewhat  strange  coincidence  that  in  the  different 
colonial  legislatures  of  British  North  America,  impelled  by  the 
same  purpose,  though  from  different  motives  and  causes,  a 
simultaneous  movement  .should  be  taking  place  in  favor  of 
confederation.  In  the  Maritime  Provinces  the  question 
assumed  a  commercial  chaiacter,  and  the  union  was  urged 
mainly  for  commercial  reasons.     In  Canada,  as  we  have  seen, 


COXFEDKILiTION  IX  SIGHT. 


176 


the  difBculty  was  pulitical.  In  both  cases,  however,  there 
appeared  to  be  aspirations  towards  a  broader  nationality,  and 
for  tlie  consolidation  of  the  diHcrent  colonial  Governments  into 
a  union  wliich,  while  maintaining  its  colonial  relationship, 
would  fittingly  represent  British  sentiment  ou  the  American 
continent. 

The  Government  of  Canada  having  now  embarked  upon  a 
federation  of  the  two  Provinces,  quickly  perceived  the  import- 
ance of  ascertaining  whether  the  scheme,  which  they  had  pro- 
jected for  themselves  might  not  very  fittingly  include  the 
ibiritime  Provinces  as  well.  Accordingly  a  deputation  consist- 
ing of  John  A.  INIacdonald,  Geo.  Brown,  Geo.  E,  Cartier,  A.  T. 
Gait,  T.  DArcy  McGee,  H.  L.  Langevin,  W.  MacDougall  and  A. 
Campbell,  was  appointed  to  meet  the  delegates  from  the  Mari- 
time Provinces,  at  (Jharlottetown,  at  their  meeting  on  the  Sth 
of  September,  to  submit  the  case  of  a  union  of  all  the  Biitish 
North  American  Provinces,  instead  of  th.e  smaller  question  of  a 
union  of  the  Maritime  Provinces,  then  under  consideration. 
The  delegates  from  Canada  were  received  very  cordially,  and 
listened  to  with  great  attention.  The  constitutional  aspects  of 
such  a  union  were  presented  by  Messrs.  John  A.  Macdonald, 
Brown  and  Cartier ;  the  commercial  aspects  of  the  question 
were  presented  by  Mr.  Gait  in  an  able  speecli  extending  over 
three  hours.  Before  withdrawing  from  the  convention,  the 
Canadian  deputation  suggested  that  the  convention  should 
suspend  its  deliberations  upon  the  subject  for  which  it  was 
(-•ailed,  and  adjourn  to  meet  at  Quebec  on  a  day  to  be  named 
hy  the  Governor-General,  there  to  consider  the  confederation 
of  all  the  colonies  of  British  North  America. 

On  their  way  to  the  seat  of  Government,  the  Canadian 
representatives  accepted  the  hospitality  of  their  t'riemls  from 
the  east,  and  delivered  sevm-al  speeches   on  tiie  new  issue   in 


1 


iTG 


Lll'E  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDEU  MACKEXZIB. 


Canadiiin  politics.     From  the  manner  in  which  those  speeches 
were   received,    and  from  the  connnents  by  the   press,   it  was 
(juite   evident    the   country    was    anxious    that    the    political 
arena  within  which   party   warfare  had  so  long  been  carried 
on  should  be  enlarged, and  a  petty  coloinalism  displaced  by  a 
comprehensive    nationality.     The  incongruity  of  a  number  of 
petty  provinces,  contiguous  to  each  other,  ail  owning  allegiance 
to  the  same  sovereign,  all  equally  interested  in  the  develop- 
ment of  lialf  a   contirent,  and  yet   acting   independently  of 
each  other  in   matters  of  tarilf  and    the  enforcement  of  law 
and  order,  was  so  apparent  that  any  rea.sonable  schetne  for  tiio 
consolidation    of  their  connnon   interests   could  not  fail  to  be 
acceptable.     Eager  eyes  were,   therefore,  turned    towards  the 
city  of  Quebec,   wlun-e  delegates  from  all  the  colonies  were  to 
nieet  at  the  call  of  the   Governor-General.     On   Monday,  the 
10th  of  Octobei',  lcSG+,  at  Jl  a.m.,  in  the  Parliament  House  of 
Canada,  the  gi'cat  conference  out  t)f  which  confederation  was 
evolved  was   opened.     The  respective  Provinces  were  repre- 
sented as  follows  :     Canada,  Sir  E.  P.  Tache,  J.  A.  Macdonald, 
Geo.  E.  Cartier.  Geo.  Urown,  A.  'J\  Gait,  A  Camplell,  W.  Mac- 
Dougall,   T.  D'Arcy  McGee,  H.  L.  Langevin,  J.  Cockburn,  ()• 
Mowat,   J.   C.   Chapais ;     Nova  Scotia,   Chas.  Tupper,    W.  A. 
Henry,   K.  B.  Dickey,    A.    G.  Archibald,  J.  McCarthy  ;    New 
Brunswick,  S.  L.  Tilley,  J.  M.  Johnson,  E,  B.  Chandler,  J.   A. 
Gray,  P.  Mitchell.  C.Fisher,  W.  If.  Steves;  Prince   Edward 
Island,  J.  H.    Gray,  E.  Palmer,   \V.  II.  Pope,  Geo.  G.  Cole.s,  A 
i\.  Macdonald,.!    H.  Ilaviland,  E.  Whelan  ;  Newfoundland,  l" 
II.  .J.  ( *arter,  Ambro.se  Shea. 

Sir  E.  P.  Tache,  Prenuer  of  Canada,  was  nnaiumously 
cho.scn  president,  and  Mr.  Piernard,  secretary.  '  \  iting  of  this 
conference  the  J  Ion,  John  Hamilton  Gray — himself  ari  acti\e 
meuiber— thus  refers  to  its  orguriizatio-.  :     "  Tliere  was  organ- 


CONFEDERA  TIOX  IX  SIGHT. 


177 


izcil  a  convention  vvlioso  deliberations  wore  to  have  a  mark- 
ed bearing  upon  the  future  of  British  Nortii  America.  The 
time,  the  men,  ilie  circumstances  were  peculiar.  The  place 
of  meeting  was  one  of  historic  interest.  Beneath  the 
shadow  of  Cape  Diamond,  on  the  ruins  of  the  old  castle  of 
St.  Louis,  with  the  broad  St.  Lawrence  stretching  away  in 
front,  the  Plains  of  Abraham  in  sight,  and  the  St.  Charles 
winding  its  silvery  course  through  scenes  replete  with  the 
n\eiiiories  of  Old  France,  where  scarce  a  century  gone  by  the 
Fleur-de-lis  and  the  Cro.ss  of  St.  George  had  waved  in  deadly 
strife,  the  descendants  of  those  gallant  races — the  Saxon  and 
ilie  (!aul — hand  in  hand  with  a  common  country  and  a  con  • 
uion  cause,  met  with  the  full  sanction  of  their  sovereign  and 
the  Tiiiperial  Government,  attended  by  the  representatives  and 
members  of  the  crown,  sent  from  the  parliaments  chosen  by 
the  people.  They  were  called  upon  to  lay  in  peace  the  founda- 
tion of  a  state  that  was  to  take  its  place  in  iriendly  position 
beside  the  Republic  whicii,  wivnched  from  its  parent  1  ud  in 
strife,  had  laid  the  foundation  of  its  gn  atness  with  the  sword- 
and  biiptized  its  power  in  blood." 

The  convention  met  with  closed  doors.  All  voting  was 
to  be  by  Provinces;  that  is  (»n  any  (|U('stion  touching 
the  character  of  the  constitution,  which  was  under  con- 
sideration on  which  there  was  a  dillrrenco  of  opinion, 
the  r(pi('sentativ«>s  ol'  each  Province  deliberated  a]»;irt 
and  )-eport((l  lluir  decision,  through  their  chairman,  to 
till'  runvciitiou.  Till!  ]»rinci[)h'  of  a  frderal  union,  as 
o]ip(i^cil  to  a  legislative  niiitm,  was  aeecptetl  after  a  very 
slmrt,  discussion,  it  b(;ing  (|uite  apparent  that  Pi'ovinces 
so  widely  apart  geographically,  and  aceustojned  so  long  to 
goveiii  themse'ves,  woidd  lind,  in  local  assemblies  to  which 
local  matters    W(>idd   be  entrusted,   simpler  machinery  for  the 


178 


Line  OF  Till']  HON.  ALh'XAXJJh'U  MArK/J\/JM. 


adininistrdtion  of  local  alTairs  iluui  couM  lie  suppliml  undci-  a 
lugisiativc!  uninti. 

OwiiH'  to  llic  war  in  ilid  TTiiItfid  States  (ln'ii  ''(»lM<r  on — n 
war  eiitenxl  upon  in  (Icl'iMico  of  .state  Hovcivi^'nty — the  conrci-- 
eiico  felt  cjilli'd  upon  to  niinrd  aL,fain-it  n  similar  con(in,^'ency 
l)y  so  fnuiiinL^Mlie  ('uiiaijiiin  constitution  as  to  place  beyond 
all  donlit  the  ((Ucstion  of  siAci-ciLinty.  With  this  ol)i<'ct  in 
view,  Nviiihi  rollowin;^  in  many  othiT  resjX'Ots  th(i  Ifdci'al 
cliaract(;r  of  tin;  American  con.stil,uiion,  n\i  alli'mpt  was  made 
to  apportion  tin?  jiowcrs  ncci'ssary  to  tin-  working'  of  the  C'ln- 
stitntioii  l)('!\vi'cn  tlu;  CJcntral  and  I'ro\incial  ((o\crnni('nts, 
]-)r('S('rvinif  to  tin!  ("mira,!  (lovi  rnnn'nt  all  powi-r  not  sjiecili- 
cally  delci;'at(:d  to  tlu;  I'rovincijs.  In  its  a.tt(MnpL,  lio\Vi;ver,  to 
avoiil  th(!  (pK'stion  of  stalc-sovfrci'^nly,  tin-  conllicts  which 
8ubse(pifnl.ly  arose,  notahly  in  Onlai-io  and  Maniloha,  with 
roiiai'd  to  ])r<i\ineial  li'jhts,  \ver(!  e\idenll\-  not  foreseen.  A 
f('(leralion  i)ur[)ortin;^  to  <rive  to  the  fe  lei-ated  provinces  c»!r- 
tain  jirivileL;((s,  which  tln'y  could  <>uly  exercise  with  the  con- 
sent of  the  central  authority,  wiaiM  not  havt;  been  .a  fiiilcra- 
ti<in  at  all,  Imt  a  leL;islati\t»  union;  and  as  t,lie  conference 
already  rejeele.l  this  principle,  the  |*io\inees  that  asserted 
provincial  rights  in  tleir  own  assemblies,  oi-  b  foi-e  the  i'ris'V 
Council,  wen;  only  insisliuL^  upon  a  jirivile^a;  which  Ihe  frani 
crs  of  the  ori^dial  scheme  for  (iotd'c^leratioii  nuist  have  in 
tended  tla^y  should  enjoy.  It  is  impossible  for  us  to  conceive 
of  a  small  ]ii'o\ince  like'  I'l'inci^  I'Mwanl  Island  acc(ij)tiiig  a 
form  of  ^niveinment,  which  would  plai!*;  tln!  cxistenco  of  il.-. 
lo"al  institutions  at  the  mercy  of  a  parliament  composed  ol 
over  two  hundi'c<l  members,  where  its  rcpresentiou  was  only 
fiv(i  or  six  membei's. 

After  discussions    extendiiiLj   until  IheL'Slh  day  of    October, 
the  conference  adjourned  to   the  city  of  Montreal,  and  on  the 


CONFJ'JDl'JlLi  TION  IN  filOIIT. 


179 


ItlCClVt 

Iting  a 

I'  il> 

iscd   III 

only 


l^lst  <lay  of  Oci>»l)(»r  a^ifroofl   upon  tlio  report  to  bo  inude  to 
their  respective}  (.loverniucnts. 

Tlio  (lelej^oites  then  iniule  a  tour  of  Upper  Canada,  outlinii\{T 
as  far  as  tlujy  werj  at  liberty  to  do  ro,  the  constitution  a<,M-eod 
ujjoii  au  the  conference,  and  receiviiifr  wherever  they  wont  the 
most  cordial  approval  of  the  vvoik  to  \vhicb  they  bad  coiu- 
iailL<!d  themselves. 


•tobei. 


- 

Tvimi 

1 

CHAPTER  XIII. 


THE  CONFEDERATION   DEBATES. 

Session  of  1865— "Discussion  of  the  Scheme  of  Confederation— Opposition  from 
Quebec — Mr.  Mackenzie's  Share  in  the  Discussion— Delegation  to  England- 
Short  Session  of  Tailianient — Final  Adoption  of  tlie  Quebec  Resolutions. 

MILE  tlic  country  was  absorbed  in  the  consider- 
ation of  the  scbenie  for  uniting  all  tlie  British 
North  American  Provinces,  the  (Jovcrnnient  was 
preparin<^  itself  for  the  opening?  of  parliament 
and  for  discussing  the  details  of  the  proposed  confed- 
eration. In  tlie  meantime,  liowever,  Mr.  Mowat,  who 
had  rendered  the  Liberal  party  substantial  service  during  the 
past  seven  years,  both  in  Opposition  and  as  a  Minister  of  the 
Crown,  accepted  a  seat  as  one  of  the  vice-chancellors  of  Upper 
Canada.  His  place  in  the  Government  was  idled  by  Mr.  \V. 
P.  Rowland,  Minister  of  Finance  in  the  Macdonald-Sicotto 
Government  and  Receiver-General  in  the  Iklacdonald-Dorion 
Government.  ^Ir.  Howland  was  known  as  a  man  of  hi_uh 
character  and  linaneial  ability,  and  his  up]K)inlment  was  so 
wrll  receiveil  by  his  constituency  as  to  secure  for  him  an  elec- 
tion by  acclamation.  AVith  the  Government  thus  constituted 
and  pulilic  e.x])ectati()u  unusually  excited,  parliament  met  i>n 
the  I'Jth  of  .January. 

In  ()i)ening  the  House  tlie  Governor-General  alluded  to  tho 
resolutions  approved  by  (he  coid'eicnco  at  Quebec,  to  the  ini- 
portajit  bearing  the   adoption  of  such  a  scheme  as  was  there 

180 


THE  CONFEDEIiA  TION  BE  DA  TES. 


181 


outlined  wouM  have  upon  the  future  oE  the  British  colonies, 
and  observed  "in  commending  to  your  attention  this  subject, 
the  importance  of  which  to  yourselves  and  to  your  descen- 
dants it  is  impossible  to  exaggerate,  I  would  claim  for  it  your 
calm,  earnest  and  impartial  consideration.  With  the  ])ublic 
mvn  of  British  North  America  it  now  rests  to  decide  whether 
the  vast  tract  of  country  which  they  inhabit  shall  be  consol- 
idated into  a  state,  combining  within  its  area  all  the  elements 
of  national  greatness,  providing  for  the  security  of  its  com- 
ponent parts  and  contributing  to  ae  strength  and  stability  of 
the  empire;  or  whether  the  several  provinces  of  which  it  is 
constituted  shall  remain  in  their  present  fragmentary  and 
isolated  condition,  comparatively  powerless  for  nnitual  aid, 
and  incapable  of  undertaking  their  proper  share  of  imperial 
responsibility." 

The  debate  was  opened  on  the  6th  of  February  on  a  motion 
by  Attorney-General  Macdonald:"  I'hat  an  humble  address  be 
presented  to  Her  Majesty  praying  that  she  may  be  graciously 
pleased  to  cause  a  measure  to  be  submitted  to  the  Imperial 
Parliament  for  the  purpose  of  uniting  the  colonies  of  Canada, 
Nova  Scotia,  New  Brunswick,  Newfoundlan(l,  and  Prince 
Edward  Island  in  one  Government,  with  provisions  based  on 
certain  resolutions  which  were  adopted  at  a  conference  of 
delegates  from  the  said  colonies  held  at  the  city  of  Quebec,  on 
the  10th  of  October,  ISG-i."  Mr.  Macdonald  supported  the 
resolution  by  a  clear  and  comprehensive  exposition  of  the 
constitutional  bearings  of  the  resolutions  agreed  upon  at 
Quebec  ;  and  while  expressing  his  own  preference  for  a  legis- 
lative union,  he  was  nevertheless  conlident  that  the  scheme 
hAovQ  the  House  would  rouiove  the  political  complications 
which  rendered  the  government  of  the  country  so  dilli- 
cult,  and,  at  the  same  time,  give  the  colonies  that  importance 


l\ 


■i^^- 


"^Mi 


I 


182 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDER  MACKESZIE. 


as  an  intof^ral  part  of  tlic  Britisli  Empire,  of  which  they  were 
deprived  by   their  present  isoUited  condition. 

The  financial  and  commercial  aspects  of  the  question  were 
presented  with  j^reat  ability  by  Mr.  Geo.  Brown  and  Mr.  A.  T. 
Gait,  Mr.  Brown's  speech  being  specially  characterized  by  its 
magnanimity  towards  his  opponents  and  liis  hopefulness  as  to 
the  future  of  the  country.  The  debate  was,  in  the  strictest 
sense  of  the  term,  historical.  Members  of  Parliament  felt 
themselves  confronted  with  the  greatest  issue  ever  submitted 
to  their  consideration.  It  was  not  the  time  for  squabbling  over 
personal  grievances  or  about  the  appropriation  of  money  for 
local  improvements.  Those  who  took  part  in  the  debjite  felt 
called  upon  to  substantiate  every  position,  not  by  the  denun- 
ciation of  their  opponerts  or  the  rounded  periods  of  the 
rhetorician,  but  by  arguments  founded  on  reason,  experience 
and  fact. 

It  was  not  until  the  28rd  of  February  tliat  Mr.  Mackenzie 
rose  to  take  his  place  in  the  debate.  Already  many  of  the 
great  leaders  had  spoken  at  considerable  length,  and  where  so 
much  had  been  said  to  the  purpose,  it  was  no  easy  task  to 
keep  the  attention  of  the  House.  Nevertheless  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie's speech,  on  that  occasion,  was  one  of  great  merit,  both 
for  its  conciseness,  its  breadth  of  view  and  its  thouuhtfulness. 
In  Ids  opening  remarks  he  defended  his  own  course  and  the 
course  of  the  Liberal  party  in  Upper  Canada  against  the  at- 
tacks of  their  former  Lower  Canadian  allies  because  of  alleg- 
ed political  inconsistency.  What  Upper  Canaila  wanted,  in 
so  many  words,  was  Representation  by  Population  ;  what  she 
wanted  in  fact  was  a  remedy  for  her  political  grievances,  lb- 
believed  the  scheme  before  the  House  provided  this  remedy  ; 
why,  then,  quarrel  over  the  form  in  which  it  came  ?  He  sup- 
ported Mr.  Saudfield  Macdonuld's  scheme  of  a  double  majority  ; 


4 

i 


THE  COXFEDERA  TIOX  DEB  A  TES. 


183 


III 


Hi 


(hat  IkuI  failed.  Should  we  stand  still  and  allow  the  union 
between  Upper  and  Lower  Canada  to  bo  dissolved  ?  "That," 
ho  said,  "  would  be  one  of  the  greatest  calamities  which  could 
befall  these  provinces. 

Mr.  Alackenzie's  industry  is  quite  as  apparent  in  his  speech 
on  Confederation  as  in  his  later  speeches,  when  Premier  ol 
Canada.  Objection  was  taken  to  the  Quebec  resolutions  be- 
cause the  Upp^r  House  or  Senate  to  be  constituted  was  to  be 
nominative  and  not  elective.  In  dealing  with  this  objection 
^Ir.  Mackenzie  expressed  his  own  opposition  to  an  elective 
Senate  and  instanced  the  example  of  the  other  colonies  of  the 
Empire  a»id  nearly  all  the  political  divisions  of  Eui-ope,  giving 
such  details  as  show  how  fully  he  had  mastered  this  part  of 
the  subject.  In  answer  to  the  charge  that  the  federal  system 
was  a  weak  one,  ho  pointed  out  that  in  the  United  States,  not- 
withstanding the  large  influx  of  foreign  population,  the  North 
was  conducting, apparently  to  a  successful  issue,one  of  the  great- 
est wars  of  modern  times  without  a  dollar  of  foreign  capital. 
The  federal  system  in  Switzerland  had  worked  most  satisfac- 
torily. The  union  between  England  and  Scotland  had  added 
to  the  prosperity  and  comfort  of  both  kingdoms. 

In  the  course  of  the  debate  he  greatly  amused  the  House  by 
quoting  from  a  speech  delivered  by  Lord  Belhaven  in  the 
Scottish  Parliament,  when  the  proposed  union  with  England 
was  under  discussion.  His  Lordship  in  depicting  the  dire 
calamity  w  meli  he  inuigined  would  befall  Scotland  by  join- 
ing her  fortunes  to  England,  said  :  "  My  fiurd  Chancellor — 
I  think  I  see  our  leariied  judges  laying  aside  ihaiv  'pvacl'iqv.es 
and  decisions,  studying  tho  common  luw  of  England,  gravel- 
led with  ccr^iojvtJ'tes,  iitsi  ^^riitscs,  writs  of  error,  verdicts  in 
dovar,  cjectione  JiDnae,  injunctions,  denun\s,  etc.,  and  Ireighted 
with  a|)peals  and  avocations,  because  of  the  new  regulations 


184 


LIFE  OP  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


m 


and  rcctificatioiia  tlicy  may  meet  with.  I  iliink  I  see  tlio 
valiant  and  gallant  soldiery  cither  sent  to  learn  the  plantation 
trade  abroad,  or  at  home  petitioning  for  a  small  subsistence  as 
a  reward  ofc'  their  honorable  exploits,  while  their  old  corps 
are  broken,  the  common  soldieiy  left  to  beg  and  the  youngest 
English  corps  left  standing.  I  think  I  see  the  honest,  indus- 
trious tradesman  loaded  with  new  taxes  and  impositions,  dis- 
appointed of  the  e((uivalents,  drinking  water  instead  of  ale, 
eating  his  snitless  pottnge,  petitioning  for  encouragement  to 
liis  manufact>irer  ami  answered  by  c<ninter  ])etitions.  In 
short,  I  think  I  see  the  laborious  ploughman  with  his  corn 
spoiling  u])on  his  liands  for  want  of  sale,  cursing  the  day  of 
his  birth,  dreading  the  expense  of  his  burial  and  uncertain 
whether  to  many  or  d(j  worse.  I  think  1  see  the  incur- 
able dillirultit.'S  of  l;,nd(Ml  men  fettered  under  the  goidcn 
cluiiii  of  cquivali'iils,  their  pretty  daughters  p((titioning  for 
want  of  husbaiKis  and  their  sons  for  want  of  employment.  1 
tliink  I  see  our  niMrinei.s  deliveiing  up  their  siiips  to  their 
Dutch  partners,  and  what,  through  presses  and  necessity  earn- 
ing their  bread  ns  untlcriings  in  the  lloyal  J'^nglish  JNavy." 
"And  here,"  said  Mr.  Mackenzie,  "comes  the  climax,  and  if  I 
were  asked  to  point  to  on(!  (jf  the  draiuatis  2)(;.i-son(.ii  in  our 
Canadian  House  (jf  Assc^mbly  littcd  to  take  part  in  a  similar 
scene  OS  is  hero  d(!picted,  I  should  unhesitatingly  turn  to  the 
honorable  member  for  Chateauguay  (Hon.  Mr.  llolton),  who 
could  more  suitably  than  anyone  else  1  know  personate  Lord 
Jielhaven  when  he  exclaims:  '  Jhit  above  all,  my  Lord,  I 
think  I  seo  our  ancient  mother  Caledonia,  like  Caesar,  sitting 
in  the  niidst  of  our  Senate  riiefully  looking  about  her,  cover- 
ing hers(!lf  with  her  royal  garment,  attending  to  the  fntal 
blow  and  l)reathing  out  her  lust  with  ct  In  (/iKKiae  mi  Jlli.'" 
lu     additiou     to     political     advantages,     Mr.     Mackenzie 


TIW  CONFEDEIIA  TION  L  EDA  TES. 


185 


claimed  tliiit  tlio  union  wouM  t^roatly  tcn«l  to  tlio  dovolopnient 
ami  growth  ui  the  c(nintry.     Jt  would  load  to  tlio  enlargement 
ami  extension  of  our  canal  system.    It  would  lead  to  the  early 
construction  of  a  railway  conmicting  Canada  with  the  Mari- 
time Provinces,  and  it  would  Htio;igthon  the  position  of  tlu; 
country  for  defensive  purp(xses.     "  Altogether,"  he  saiil,  "  I  re- 
gard the  scheme  as  a  magnificent  one,  and  I  look   forward   to 
tlu;  future  expi'cting  to  s(,mj   a  country  ami    a    Government 
possessing  great  power  and   respectability,  established  under 
tliis  scheme  and  of  being  before  I    die  a  citizen   of    an  iin- 
incnsc   empire  built   upon  our    part  of  the  North    American 
contini'iit,    where    the   folds    of    the    Jh'itish   ling  will   lloat  in 
trium|)h    over    a    people    possessing    frei'dom,   happiness  and 
prosperity  e(|Uul   to  the  people  of  any   other   nation  on    the 
ei  rLli.     If  there  is  anything  that  1  liav(!  always  felt  anxious 
abiiut  in   this   country  it   is    to  lia\(;  tii<!   Ihitish   possessions 
put  in  such  a   position    that   W(!  could  safely  repnso   without 
fear  of  danger   from  any  rpiarter  nnd(;r  the  baiuier  which  wo 
believe,  after  all,  covers   the  greatest  amount  of  personal  free- 
dom and  the   greatest  amount  of  personal   happiness  that  is 
to  be   found    in    the  world.     And    when    we  look  to  the   vast 
territory   w(j   have   in  the   North-West ;  wdien  we  know   that 
the  great  rivtsrs    which    How    through     tluit    tei'ritory    How 
through   immens(!  bed.n  of  coal   and  that  the  wIkjIo  Ci)untry  is 
rich  in    mineral  deposits  of  all  kinds — peti'oleum,  copper,  gold 
luid   iron— that   the  land  i.'*  tcjeming  with  resources  of  wealth 
calculateil   to  build   up  an   extensive  and   valuable   conmierco 
and   support  a  powerful  nation;  that  all  the.so  we  can  touch 
and  seize  upon   the   mtjinent  we  are  prepared   to   open  up  a 
way  to  reach  thom  and  allow   the  .settler  to   enter;  wdien   wo 
ri  nil  iid)er   this,   !    say,   I    think   we   can    look    f(;rward    with 
hope   to   a  prodigious  increase  in  our  population  and  an  im- 


* 


1.^0 


LIFE  OF  Till':  IIUX.  ALliXANDEU  MACKLSZIIJ. 


monso  (l(;v('lrijnnfjit  of  s(rcii.;l,1i  niid  jvjwcr.  So  Tar  our  poo- 
[)lij  liuvi;  liiul  to  coiili'ii'l  Willi  tli(-'.  iisiml  (lillicultics  coiuiiiou 
to  tin;  people  of  ill  I  ii(!\v  couiitric^s  ;  hut  now  (yiinada  is  be- 
giniiiuif  to  a.ssuiiH!  a  position  oi"  coiiiiiiercial  importance,  and 
in  jiroportion  as  tiiat  iniportanco  increases  vv(!  will  be  able  to 
devote  ourselves  to  the  opcninfj  U[)  and  st;ttleiuent  (jf  the 
interior,  and  to  the  (h)velo[)inent  ol'  a  new  nationality — to 
use  the  term  that  has  been  so  sliarply  criticised — in  that, 
vast  western  country  where  tliere  is  h»r<ily  a  white  man 
livinf(   to-day." 

As  tin;  resolutions  w^'ic  not  IjeFoi'*!  the  Ifouse  for  considerM- 
tion  iri  detiiil,  ;ind  thei-ftl'  ire  were  not  capable  ol'  amenduient, 
the  opponents  of  Confederation  coull  oidy  move  amendments 
of  a  f^eneral  charaebtr.  Stroni;^  objection  was  tak<Mi  to  tl;e 
adoption  ot  any  scheme  practically  chan;^in;j  the  constitution 
of  the  country,  without  relerenco  to  the  electors.  Tlie  parlia- 
ment, then  asscmldcd,  had  no  mandate  to  draft  a  new  consti- 
tution for  Cana(hi ;  and  althou^di  it  was  ur^'cid  in  answer  that 
parliamtMit  was  authorized  to  seek  some  remedy  for  tlic  con- 
stitutional diflicultiea  that  existed,  the  answer  was  not  satis- 
factory or  con)pU'to.  In  order  to  test  the  Ibmse  on  this  ques- 
tion Mr.  John  iJillyard  Cameron  moved,  seconded  by  Mr.  M 
C.  Cameron:  "  That  in  view   of  the  ma^-iiitude  of  the  interests 


ij 


involved   m   the  resobitions  for  tiio  union  of  tlie   colonics  of 
Briti.sli  x^Iurth   Auk  rica  and  tiio  entire  cliange  of  the  consti- 


I 


Tin:  coxFi':in:i!.\Tios  hiciiATHs. 


1S7 


M. 

rests 


tiitioii  of  tills  Piovinw,  a  constitutional  apftoal  shcjuM  l>o 
made  to  the  people  lj(;i'<n-o  tliu.sc  rusulutions  are  Hubniitt(;iJ 
lor  dual  action  tlicroon  to  the  considtiration  of  tlic  Ini[)(!iial 
railiuiiK-iit."     Tins   resolution   was   lost  on  a  vot(i  of  ;'5  to  81-. 

Mr.  Ilolton  then  moved  "that any  Act  founded  on  the  ri'.scjlu- 
tioiis  should  not  ^'o  into  operation  until  approved  hy  the 
I'ailiainont  of  Caniuhi."  This  was  also  lost  on  a  vote  of  .'{I  to 
71).  Mr.  8andli(;I<l  Macdonald,  npparently  to  einltarra.ss  the 
hiix'i'als  fi'oiii  whom  he  was  now  alienated,  notvvithstan<lin^ 
that  the  >Si'purate  School  Act  of  ISO.'}  was  passtMl  durin;^'  his 
liifuiiership,  movcid  fin  amondmcnl,  (sxpn-ssin;^  rc;^r(;t  that  the 
(.ulire  control  and  dircctio.i  of  education  in  lljtjjer  (panada 
was  not  entrusted  to  its  own  Local  Fitj^islature.  The  vote  on 
this  atiieiKliueiit  was  yeas,  8  ;  nays,  f).').  AnotlK^r  amendment 
hy  .Mr.  Ilourassji,  "that  the  Itomaii  < 'atholie  minority  of  Upper 
Canada  Ik;  placed  on  the  same  footiii*^,  as  re^^'irds  edu(;ation, 
as  the  l'i'(jte.stant  minority  of  Lower- Canai la "  was  also  lost 
on  ii  vote  of  20  to  S.";.  TIk!  i-esohit-ions  were  then  Ji|(ree<l  to 
<in  a  vote  of  f)  I  to  .'}.'>,  ii,n<l  the  i^reat  pa,i'IIamentary  debate  on 
(-'onfederation  was  hrouii'ht  to  a  close. 

After  transacting  .some  other  liusiness  of  a,  minor  character, 
the  liou.Sf!  ])roro;^-ueil  on  tin;  iSth  of  March,  tla;  coalition 
hetween  Messrs.  Jh'own  ;iMd  .Macdoiiald  havin'f  shown  itself 
strong  enou^di  and  honest  enough,  fiontraiy  to  the  usual  [irc- 
cedents  of  coalitions,  to  conccntrat(i  all  th(i  power  (jf  the 
Legislature  on  the  Holulion  of  the  constitutional  dillicultics 
which  it  was  ori<finalIy  or^oinized  to  .solve.  It  is  deeply  to 
he  rcf^retted  that,  with  its  hold  n])on  th(i  puhlic  opinion  of 
the  countiy  Mild  with  a  .scheme  so  cordially  supported  hy 
I'arlianKiit,  it  lacked  the  couni|je  to  njipeal  to  the  country 
for  a  constitutional  expression  of  o])iriion. 

While  I'arliainent  i.s  entrusted  with  a  yreat  d(.'al  of  power, 


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LJFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


and  while  it  is  hard  sometimes  to  say  whether  the  electorate 
has  expressed  an  opinion  on  many  of  the  questions  which 
their  representatives  are  culled  upon  to  determine,  there  can 
be  no  doubt  whatsoever  that  a  complete  change  of  the  Cons*:i- 
tution,  such  as  was  contemplated  by  the  Quebec  resolutions, 
should  have  been  submitted  to  the  people  at  the  polls.  Had 
the  Conference  at  Quebec  made  this  part  of  their  plan  of 
campaign,  many  heart-burnings,  all  of  which  are  not  yet 
allayed,  would  have  been  obviated,  and  the  people  would  have 
been  made  to  feel  that  the  Constitution  of  which  they  had  ap- 
proved was  a  Constitution  which  iliey  were  in  duty  bound  to 
preserve  in  its  integrity.  Strange  to  say,  Mr.  Mackenzie,  who 
all  his  life  had  shown  such  deference  to  the  popular  will, 
declared  the  action  of  Parliament  a  sufficient  exjjressiou  of 
public  opinion. 

Immediately  after  prorogation,  a  deputation  consisting  of 
Messrs.  J.  A.  Macdonald,  Cartier,  Brown  and  Gait  went  to 
England  to  confer  with  the  Imperial  Government  respecting 
Confederation  and  other  matters  of  public  interest. 

On  second  thought,'the  Maritime  Provinces,  wliich  had  so 
cordially  supported  Confederation  at  the  outset,  became 
alarnied  as  to  the  consequences  of  their  own  acts,  and  oflered 
on  every  hand  the  most  stubborn  opposition  to  the  proposed 
constitutional  chanfjes.  Fears  were  expressed  lest  the  smaller 
Provinces  should  be  overwhelmed  by  the  numerical  strength 
of  the  larger,  and  appeals  were  made  to  the  loyalty  of  the 
people  on  the  ground  that  our  Constitution  was  an  imitation 
of  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  and  that  its  adop- 
tion would  undoubtedly  lead  to  annexation. 

A  great  outcry  was  also  raised  on  account  of  the  financial 
basis  of  the  scheme.  The  Maritime  Provinces  had  a  low  rate 
of  duty,  and  for  ordinary  purposes  of  government,  abundant 


'(A:  :!■* 


THE  CONFEDERATION  D^' BATES. 


189 


mg 


tho 
litlon 
idop- 

ncial 

rate 

idiint 


revenues.  By  the  new  scheme,  duties  would  be  increased, 
while  the  income  of  the  Provinces  was  fixed  for  all  time.  The 
diversion  of  the  trade  of  the  we  t  to  Canadian  ports  bj'-  the 
proposed  Intercolonial  Railway  was  problematical.  Their 
trade  \vas  with  the  United  States,  and  there  was  no  guaran- 
tee that  it  would  be  increased  by  Confederation. 

In  those  and  similar  ways,  an  appeal  was  made  to  the  peo- 
])le  of  New  Brunswick  in  the  general  election  which  followed 
the  return  of  the  dele!;:i'-es  from  Quebec,  the  result  being 
that  an  Assembly  hostile  to  Confederation  was  returned 
with  A.  J.  Smith,  afterwards  Sir  Albert  Smith,  as  premier. 
There  was  no  general  election  in  Nova  Scotia  through  which 
the  popular  will  could  express  itself,  but  at  the  meeting  of 
the  Assembly,  following  the  return  of  the  delegates,  resolu- 
tions were  adopted  in  favor  of  a  union  of  the  Maritime  Pro- 
vinces ii^one.  Prince  Edward  Island  not  only  passed  resolu- 
tions opposed  to  Confederation,  but  went  so  far  as  to  repudi- 
ate the  action  of  the  delegates.  Newfoundland  left  the  whole 
question  in  abeyance,  and  so  it  remains  there  at  the  present 
time. 

To  launcli  the  new  ship  on  such  a  stormy  sea  appeared 
to  be  a  perilous  task,  but  there  was  no  help  for  it.  The  Con- 
stitution of  the  United  States  was  ratified  by  the  original 
thirteen  colonies  only  after  great  dissension,  and,  in  some 
cases,  after  the  lapse  of  several  years.  To  shrink  from  the 
decision  of  tho  misinformed  public  miiul,  or  to  take  counsel 
from  tho  timid,  was  not  the  duty  of  the  hour.  And  so  with- 
out any  hesitation  whatsoever  because  of  the  action  of  tho 
Maritime  Provinces,  tho  delegates  from  tho  Parliament  of  Can- 
ada proceeded,  according  to  instructions,  to  I'^iglund. 


iteP"^'Tr-''"''Jiu"'  ■  raitti 


i!i!;! 


|!|ii' 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

]MR.    BROWN   RETIRES   FROM   THE   COAIJTIOX. 

Der'.tli  f)f  Sir  V..  V.  Tachd— Mr.  Brown's  Objections  to  Mr.  MacdonaM  as  Pre- 
mier—Last Parliament  in  (Quebec— KeiJort  of  the  Delegates  to  England- 
Feeling  in  tha  Maritime  Provinees— Mr.  Brown's  Retirement  from  the  Gov- 
ernment— Abolition  of  the  Reeiprocity  Treaty  of  '57— The  last  Session  of 
the  old  Parliament  of  Canada. 


N  the  30th  of  Jn]y,  1805,  ciglifc  days  before  the  re- 
assembling of  Parliament,  Sir  E.  P.  Tachd,  Premier 
y*^i^1      "*^  ^^^^  Coalition  Government,  died,  and  the  ques- 
^^/  tion   of   selecting  a  successor  gave  rise  to  some 

^J^  di+iicultics.  Col.  Tachc',  though  not  a  man  of  profound 
ability  or  statesmanship,  was  a  devoted  Canadian,  and 
for  many  years  actively  identified  himself  with  every  measure 
submitted  to  Parliament  for  the  advancement  of  Canadian 
interests.  Ho  believed  our  welfare  lay  in  our  continued  con- 
nection with  the  Empire.  His  loyalty  found  expression  in 
the  words  long  to  bo  remembered  ;  "  The  last  shot  that  would 
be  fired  on  the  American  continent,  in  defence  of  the  British 
flag,  would  be  tired  by  a  French  Canadian." 

Aside  altogether  from  his  high  character,  the  part  he  took 
in  drafting  our  present  Constitution,  and  directing,  as  Premier, 
the  Government  of  Canada,  while  great  constitutional  prob- 
lems were  being  settled,  would  give  him  a  prominent  place  in 
the  annals  of  liis  country. 

Mr.  John  A.  Macdouald,  who  was  the  senior  member  of  the 

190 


^h 


m 


l\o 


MR.  BROWN  RETIRES  FROM  THE  COALITION. 


19? 


Government,  was  informed  of  His  Excellency's  desire  that  the 
Government  should  be  continued  as  a  coalition,  at  least  until 
present  constitutional  difficulties  were  settled,  suggesting  at 
the  same  time  that  Mr.  Macdonald  should  accept  the  Preniier- 
sliip  vacated  by  Mr.  Tachd's  death.     To  this  proposition  Mr. 
Drown  stiongly  objected.    Mr.  Macdonald  had  always  been  his 
antagonist.      He   coalesced   with   him  for   a   special  purpose 
wlien  the  Lil)OJ-al  party  controlled  the  House,  and  would  con- 
tinue in  the  Government  only  while   lie  could  do  so  on  equal 
terms.     To  continue  to  serve  under  him  as  Premier  would  be 
a  violation  of  the  conditions  of  the  original  compact,  and  to 
this  he  would  not  agree.    Already,  the  Liberals  held  only  tlu'ee 
seats  in  the  Cabinet,  while  their  political  opponents  held  nine, 
^le  advised  the  selection  of  some  gentleman  of  good  position 
in  the  Legislative  Council,  under  whom  all  the  parties  to  the 
coalition  could  act  with  confidence.      Failing  this,  he  would 
agree  to  do  what  he  i)referred  from  the  very  first — give  the 
Government  an  outside  support,  provided  they  would  apply 
themselves  to  the  removal  of  the  existing  difiiculties  between 
Upper  and  Lower  Canada,  on  the  basis  of  a  Federative  Union. 
Mr  Macdonald  then  sui^gested  the  name  of  ^Ir.  Cartier,  who 
was  the  leader  of  the  majority  from  Lower  Canada.     This 
proposition,  Mr.  Brown,  after  consultation  with  his  colleagues 
from  Upper  Canada — Messrs.  Howland  and  MacDougall — de- 
clined, and  by  mutual  consent  Sir  Narcisse  Lelleau  was  chosen, 
who  agreed  to  the  terms  on  which  the  coalition  was  organized. 
There  can  be  no  doubt  whatever  as  to  the  propriety  of  the 
course  pursued  by  Mr.  Brown  inider  the  circumstances.     He 
was  a  member  of  a  cabinet  formed  for  a   special  purpose. 
He  represented  beyond  question  the  feeling  ol"  the  majority 
of  the  Liberal  party.    Ko  cabinet  could  exist,  at  that  time, 
without  Ids  support.     It  was  essential   in  the  interests  of  the 


192 


LIFE  OF  THE  JIOX.  ALEXAXDER  MACKEXZIE. 


li'iili: 


■\hw 


party,  and  for  the  proper  solution  of  the  constitutional  ques- 
tions with  ■which  it  was  identified,  that  he  should  continue 
in  the  cabinet,  not  as  a  subordinate  of  Mr.  J  jhn  A,  Macdonald, 
who  had  always  opposed  the  Liberal  policy,  but  as  his  equal. 
Under  ordinary  circumstances,  Mr.  Macdonald's  claims  to  the 
premiership  would  ha.ve  been  conclusive.  That  they  were 
urged  at  all,  was,  perhaps,  not  unnatural ;  that  they  were  not 
unduly  pressed,  shows  that  Mr.  Macdonald  had  accepted,  as  a 
finality,  the  verdict  of  the  House  in  favor  of  constitutional 
changes,  and  that  in  keeping  good  faith  with  V^v.  Brown,  he 
was  simpl}'  keeping  good  faith  with  Parliament,  and  witn  the 
well-known  public  opinion  of  the  country. 

On  the  eighth  of  August,  parliament  re-assemblcd  to  receive 
the  report  of  the  delegates  to  England,  and  to  pass  the  esti- 
mates in  detail,  for  which  they  had  previously  been  given  a 
vote  of  credit.     The  report  of  the  delegates  was  very  satisfac- 
tory.    They  had  a  conference  on  behalf  of  the  Government 
with  the  Duke  of  Somerset,  Earl  de  Gray,  Mr.  Gladstone,  and 
Mr.  Cardwell,  Colonial  Secretary,  and  received  the  strongest 
assurances  that  the  federation,  which  they  proposed  with  the 
Maritime   Provinces,   was  very    acceptable    to  the  Imperial 
authorities.     Some  progress  was  also  made  towards  the  settle- 
ment of  the  claims  of  the  Hudson's  Bay  Company,  and  a  pro- 
mise received  of  an  Im})erial  guarantee  for  the  cost  of  con- 
structing the  Intercolonial  Railway.     The  assurance  from  the 
Colonial  Secretary  that  all  legitimate  ellbrts  would  be  made 
to  reconcile  New  Brunswick  to  Confederation,  was  very  ac- 
ceptable. 

The  session  was  uneventful,  so  far  as  general  legislation  was 
concerned,  although  many  measures  of  a  minor  character 
were  passed.  Mr.  ]\Iackenzie  took  an  active  part  in  the  >\ork 
of  the  House,  and  was   daily  strengthening  himself  by  liih 


r     I 


MR.  BROWN  RETIRES  FROM  THE  COALITION. 


193 


n 


leru 


'ttle- 
i  pro- 
L'  con- 
Din  the 
made 
■ly  ac- 


ajititude  in  debate,  and  his  familiarity  with  every  question 
submitted  for  the  consideration  of  Parliament.  When  the 
House  prorogued  on  the  18th  of  September,  it  was  on  the 
understanding  that  Parliament  should  next  assemble  in  the 
new  buildings  at  Ottawa. 

The  Government,  being  now  relieved  of  Parliament,  at  once 

gave  its  attention  to  the  trade  relations  of  Canada  with  the 

United  States.    It  will  be  remembered  that  in  1854,  under  the 

administration  of  Lord  Elgin,  a  Reciprocity  Treaty  of  a  very 

comprehensive  character  was  made  between  Canada  and  the 

United  States,  valid  for  ten  years,  but  revokable  on  notice  by 

either  party.     The  Americans  had  become  dissatisfied  with 

the  treaty  on  the  alleged  ground  that  Canada  benefited  more 

by  its  continuance  than  the  United  States.     They  had  passed 

through  a  great  conflict ;  their  taxes  had  become  burdensome 

particularly  their  inland  revenue  imposts,  and  the  admission 

of   certain  Canadian  products  free  into  -the  market  of    the 

United  States,  it  was  said,  placed  the  American  producer  at  a 

disadvantage.      These   were   the   commercial   reasons    which 

national  courtesy  considered  the  only  ones  expedient  to  put 

forth.     There  were  behind  these,  however,  the  conviction  tiiat 

a  treaty  was  an  advantage   to  Canada,  and  that  its  repeal 

would  be  a  serious  injury  to  Canadian  trade.     In  the  long 

and  worthy  struggle  which  they  had  made  for  the   Union, 

they  had  come   to  the  conclusion,  rightly  or  wrongly,  that 

Great  Britain  and  her  Colonies  would  rejoice  to  see  the  Union 

dismembered.     The  attem})ts  made  by  blockade  runners,  such 

us  the  steamship  Alabama,  to  furnish  the  South  with  supplies, 

the  determined  attitude  of  Great  Britain  in  the  Trent  afi'air, 

and  the  raid  of  St.  Albans  in  Canada  intensified  tlis  feelino-. 

That  it  was  unfounded,  there  can  be  no  doubt.     The  British 

St  atiinent  that  abolished  tli<'  sImnc   trade  sixty  years  before 

M 


iiMli 


ij|,|iii 


m 


194 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


could  have  no  sympathy  with  the  establisliincnt  of  a  con- 
federacy, the  corner-stone  of  which,  as  declared  by  its  Vice- 
President,  was  to  be  slavery.  If,  here  and  there,  British  trade 
suffered  as  notably,  in  Lancashire,  because  its  supply  of  cotton 
from  the  South  was  cut  off,  and  in  this  way  a  word  of  sym- 
pathy was  dropped  for  the  rebel  States,  such  intermittent 
expressions  of  sympathy  should  not  have  been  mistaken  for 
the  real  public  opinion  of  Britain.  Indeed,  it  is  well  known 
that  had  it  not  been  for  the  action  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment, France  would  have  recognized  the  Southern  Confeder- 
acy as  a  new  nation,  and  what  would  have  been  the  conse- 
quences of  such  a  recognition,  no  one  can  tell. 

The  sympathies  of  Canadians  were  strongly  with  the  North. 
The  Globe  supplied  its  readers  daily  with  the  leading  events 
of  the  war,  and  commented,  editorially,  from  time  to  time 
on  the  various  phases  which  it  assumed,  but  always  fav- 
orably to  the  North.  Occasionally,  in  a  Conservative  news- 
paper, there  would  be  found  the  suggestion  that  a  Republican 
form  of  government  was  essentially  weak,  and  that  the  strug- 
gle in  which  the  North  was  engaged  must  necessarily  be  a 
failure. 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  motive,  and  this  will  always 
be  a  matter  of  speculation,  the  Americans  notified  the  Imper- 
ial Government  that  the  Reciprocity  Treaty  of  1854  would 
terminate  on  the  l7th  day  of  March,  18G6.  To  Canadians,  this 
notice  was  a  source  of  considerable  anxiety.  The  trade  rela- 
tions which  our  merchants  had  established  with  the  United 
States  were  to  be  practically  brought  to  an  end,  and  other 
markets  had  to  be  found  for  the  surplus  products  of  the 
country.  The  feeling  then,  was  universal,  that  everything 
consistent  with  the  dignity  of  Canada  should  be  done  for  the 
renewal  of  the  Treaty-  iu  some  form  or  other.     On  the  15th 


PI 


II  • 


\0-^-  Ul 


MR.  BROWN  RETIRES  FROM  THE  COALITION: 


195 


day  of  July,  1865,  the  Government  decided  to  send  two  mem- 
bers of  the  cabinet  to  Washington  to  confer  with  Sir  Fred- 
erick Bruce,  the  British  Ambassador.  By  a  despatch,  dated 
the  22nd  of  July,  the  British  Government  suggested  the  for- 
mation of  a  Confederate  Council,  chosen  by  the  different  pro- 
vinces, and  presided  over  by  the  Governor-General,  for  the 
purpose  of  expressing  an  opinion  to  Her  Majesty's  Govern- 
ment on  the  negotiation  of  Commercial  Treaties.  Acting  on 
this  suggestion,  such  a  Council  was  formed  at  Quebec,  early  in 
September,  and  called  the  "  Confederate  Council  on  Commer- 
cial Treaties."  The  members  of  the  Council  from  Canada 
were  Messrs.  Brown  and  Gait ;  from  Nova  Scotia,  Mr.  Ritchie ; 
from  New  Brunswick,  Mr.  Wilmot ;  from  Prince  Edward  Is- 
land, Mr.  Pope ;  and  from  Newfoundland,  Mr.  Shea.  Messrs. 
Macdonald  and  Cartier  were  by  courtesy  admitted  on  behalf 
of  Canada  to  be  present  at  the  Council,  and  take  part  in  the 
discussion. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  Council  on  the  18th  of  September, 
18G5,  resolutions  were  passed  approving  of  the  renewal  of  the 
Reciprc  *^^''  Treaty  of  1854 ;  reconnnending  the  British  North 
Americai'  Provinces  to  combine  cordially  on  a  common  com- 
mercial •  I  x.cy  in  the  event  of  the  abolition  of  the  old  Treaty ; 
recommending  communication  to  be  opened  with  the  West 
India  Islands,  Spain  and  her  colonies,  Brazil  and  Mexico,  for 
new  channels  of  trade ;  and  requesting  Her  Majesty's  Govern- 
ment to  autiiorize  the  members  of  the  Council,  or  a  committee 
appointed  from  amongst  them,  to  proceed  to  Washington  in 
the  event  of  negotiations  being  opened  up  for  the  renewal  of 
the  Reciprocity  Treaty,  in  order  to  confer  with  the  British 
-Ministers  there,  with  respect  to  the  British  North  American 
Provinces.  Shortly  after  the  adjournment  of  the  Council, 
^Ir.  MacDou<>-all  went  to  the  West  Indies  at  the  head  of  a  com- 


196 


LIFE  OF  THE  II OX.  ALEXAXDER  MACKEXZIE. 


I! 


^:'ir 


iiiijiij 


mission  in  order  to  enquire  into  the  facilities  which  they 
atibrded  for  trade  with  Canada,  and  Messrs,  Gait  and  How- 
land  went  to  Washington  to  discuss  with  the  United  States 
Government  the  difficulties  in  the  Avay  of  the  renewal  of  the 
old  Reciprocity  Treaty.  On  the  18th  of  December,  Mr.  Gait 
submitted  to  Council  his  report,  in  which  he  expressed  his 
opinion  that  there  was  no  reasonable  probability  that  the  Con- 
gress of  the  United  States  would  adopt  any  proposal  for  the 
renewal  of  the  Reciprocity  Treaty  of  1854,  but  believed  from 
his  conversations  with  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasu]  y  that  the 
commercial  relations  with  the  United  States  an<l  the  British 
Provinces  could  be  made  the  subject  of  concerted  legislation. 
He  also  found  the  United  States  authorities  unwilling  to  give 
what  he  regarded  as  a  fair  equivalent  for  the  privilege  of 
fishing  in  Canadian  waters. 

Mr.  Brown,  who  had  been  absent  in  the  Lower  Province  in 
connection  with  public  matters,  was  greatly  surprised  on  his 
i-eturn  that  Messrs.  Gait  and  Rowland  had  gone  to  Washing- 
ton, and  had  presumed  to  entertain  propositions  for  the  settle- 
ment of  this  question  without  the  full  authority  of  their 
colleagues.  As  a  member  of  the  Confederate  Council  on  Com- 
mercial Treaties,  he  regarded  it  as  an  affront  to  be  supplanted 
by  Mr.  Rowland,  and  the  proposal,  on  the  p^ti't  of  the  two 
countries,  to  accept  concerted  legislation  in  lieu  of  a  definite 
treaty,  was  to  him  very  objectionable.  Ho  argued  that  a 
treaty  depending  upon  the  whim  of  Congress  would  be  of  no 
value  whatever,  that  under  it  the  capitalist  would  have  no 
assurance  that  his  investments  would  not  be  disturbed  by 
legislation  at  any  moment,  and  that  the  effect  of  holding  the 
Canadians  "  dangling  from  year  to  year  on  the  legislation 
oF  the  American  Congress,  looking  to  Washington,  instead  ol" 
to  Ottawa,  as   the   controller   of   their   comn*erce  and  pro.s- 


MR.  BROWN  RETIRES  FROM  THE  COALITION. 


197 


ihey 
Low- 
bates 
:  the 
Gait 
d  his 
Con- 
)r  the 
from 
at  the 
British 
lation. 
DO  give 


ege 


of 


I 


incc  ui 
on  his 

lashing- 
settle- 
f  their 

n  Com- 
planted 
he  two 
dutiuite 
that  a 
be  ol:  uo 
lave  no 
irbed  hy 
ding  the 
.ffislation 
lytcad  ol' 


Ind  pi" 


os- 


pcrity,  woulu  lead  to  the  absorption  of  the  provinces  into 
the  union ; "  that  the  action  of  Mr.  Gait  was  contrary  to  the 
conclusions  of  the  Confederate  Council,  which  rppresented  all 
the  provinces,  and  therefore,  would  give  them  great  offence, 
and  perhaps  imperil  the  wliole  scheme  of  Confederation.  His 
colleagues  having  declined  to  accept  his  views,  he  felt  it  his 
duty  to  withdraw  from  the  Government,  and  on  the  19th  of 
December  placed  his  reyiii'nation  in  the  hands  of  the  Governor- 
General. 

The  wisdom  of  Mr.  Brown's  course  in  leaving  the  Govern- 
ment when  he  did  has  been  the  subject  of  much  controversy. 
It  is  quite  certain,  from  the  reluctance  with  which  he  entered 
a  Ministry  in  whicli  Mr.  J.  A.  Macdonald  was  one  of  the 
ruling  spirits,  that  he  anticipated  dissension,  and  perhaps 
intrigue.  To  weaken  Mr.  Brown's  influence  in  the  country 
would  be  the  surest  passport  to  political  power.  To  obtain 
his  retirement  from  the  Government,  should  the  reasons  be 
insufficient  in  public  estimation,  would  be  a  great  victory. 
Mr.  Brown  was  known  to  be  of  an  impulsive  temperament; 
if,  in  a  moment  of  irritation,  he  resigned,  all  the  worse  f  Ji 
him. 

The  suspicious  attitude  of  his  Conservative  colleagues,  and 
paiticularly  of  Mr.  John  A.  Macdonald,  was  somewhat  inten- 
sitieu  by  Mr.  Brown's  refusal  to  serve  under  him  as  Premier, 
on  the  death  of  Sir  E.  P.  Tach^,  and  when  Mr.  Brown  object- 
ed to  Mr.  Gait's  negotiations  with  the  authorities  at  Washing- 
ton, and  hinted  that  those  objections,  unless  removed,  would 
lead  to  his  resignation,  he  effectually  closed  the  door  against 
their  removal,  although  Mr.  Cartier  and  Mr.  Campbell,  who 
were  also  members  of  the  Government,  were  anxious  he  should 
not  retire. 
No  doubt  the  situation  was  a  serious  one  to  the  country. 


mm 


\w 


198 


M 


III 


li'iiiii] 


iilliJi 


ip 


LIJ-L'  OF  THE  llOX.  ALEXAXDER  MACKENZIE. 


Mr.  Gait  was  proposing  to  enter  into  negotiations  with  the 
United  States  I'or  a  Coniuiereial  Treaty,  wliich,  if  adopted, 
would  be  worse  than  futile.  What  was  Mr.  Brown's  duty 
under  these  circumstances?  In  the  light  of  subsequent  events, 
it  is  quite  clear  that  the  United  States  Government  would  not 
have  i^assed  a  Treaty  of  any  kind,  and  it  seems  equally  clear 
that  the  people  of  Canada  would  not  have  accepted  a  Treaty 
on  the  conditions  offered.  At  the  time  Mr.  Brown  resigned, 
however,  the  Government  was  not  absolutely  committed  to 
any  line  of  action.  The  report  submitted  to  Council  was  not 
approved  until  the  22nd  day  of  December,  three  days  after  he 
resigned.  Why  did  he  not  remain  and  fight  it  out  with  his 
colleagues  ?  Possibly  Mr.  Gait's  recommendation  could  have 
been  modified  in  Council,  or  a  compromise  obtained,  or  the 
question  postponed.  Evidently  Mr.  Brown  had  reached  that 
frame  of  mind  in  wliich  he  preferred  to  take  the  consequences 
of  retiring  rather  than  the  worry  of  continuing  in  office. 

Unfortunately  for  Mr.  Brown  arid  the  Liberal  party,  his 
colleagues,  Messrs.  Rowland  and  MacDougall,  did  not  retire 
with  him.  Probably,  Mr.  Howland  felt  that  he  was  unwit- 
tingly the  cause  of  ^Ir.  Brown's  annoyance.  He  was  Mr. 
Gait's  companion  at  Washington,  and  had  taken  part  with  him 
in  the  negotiations  reported  to  the  Council.  To  retire  from 
the  Government  under  these  circumstances,  would  be  to  plead 
guilty  to  the  charges  made  by  Mr.  Brown,  and  this  could 
hardly  be  expected.  Their  remaining  in  the  Government 
after  Mr.  Brown's  retirement  gieatly  weakened  Mr.  Browns 
position.  By  a  solemn  compact  entered  into  with  the  Liberal 
party,  they  were  called  to  the  Government  to  settle  constitu- 
tional difficulties.  Until  their  work  was  completed,  they  were 
bound  to  remain  at  their  posts.  Having  entered  as  a  unit,  at 
the  request  of  the  party,  the  party  should  have  been  consulte<l 
before  any  of  them  retired. 


MR.  BROWN  RETIRES  FROM  THE  COALITION. 


199 


Mr.  Brown's  gi-cat  mistcake  was  in  not  consulting  the  party 
befo?'e  retiring  from  the  cabinet,  as  he  did  on  catering  the 
cabinet,  and  the  moment  Ins  Liberal  colleagues  from  UpiDer 
Canada  showed  the  least  aversion  to  follow  his  leadership,  he 
should  have  asked  the  authority  of  those  who  made  him  their 
representative  in  the  Government  jointly  with  Messrs.  How- 
land  and  MacDougall  before  witlulrawinii  from  the  Govern- 
ment,  or  openly  separating  himself  from  his  colleagues. 
True,  he  left  the  Government  with  an  assurance  that  he 
would  stand  by  Confederation.  In  his  letter  to  Mr.  Cartier, 
dated  December  19th,  he  said :  "  If  you  stick  to  the  compact 
you  made  with  me  when  Sir  Narcisse  came  into  the  Govern- 
ment, my  being  out  of  the  Government  will  not  change  my 
course  in  the  slightest,  and  you  will  have  my  best  aid  in  car- 
rying out  the  constitutional  chrnges  we  were  pledged  to." 

On  the  other  hand,  it  mav  be  said  that  the  Conservative  sec- 
tion  of  the  coalition,  in  pressing  a  question  on  which  there 
was  any  probability  of  a  division  in  the  cabinet,  did  not  keep 
faith  with  the  Liberals,  and  that  on  the  announcement  by  Mr. 
Brown  that  he  could  not  accept  Legislative  Reciprocity  the 
question  should  have  ended  there.  In  this  view,  there  is  much 
force.  A  coalition  for  a  specific  purpose  has  no  meaning  un- 
less it  involves  the  abandonment  of  all  otlier  questions  on 
which  there  is  a  difference  of  opinion.  Mr.  Brown's  views  on 
Reciprocity  were  well-known;  he  had  made  the  subject  a 
study  for  many  years.  That  his  colleagues  should  lay  the 
foundation  for  a  new  treaty,  on  terms  of  which  it  was  evident 
he  could  not  approve,  and  do  this  practically  without  his 
knowledge  or  consent,  was,  to  say  the  legist,  a  breach  of  faith 
of  the  grossest  character.  Believing  as  he  did,  he  had  no 
option  but  to  retire  from  the  Government  if  such  a  policy 
were  insisted  upon.     Had  he  called  the  representatives  of  the 


! 

I  i  I  i 


fl 


jjilif 


200 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Liberal  party,  and  in  conjunction  with  his  colleagues  sub- 
mitted the  dirticulty  of  the  situation  to  their  judgment,  it  is 
quite  probable  the  political  effect  of  his  action  would  have 
been  quite  difierent. 

And  here  it  may  very  properly  be  asked,  should  Mr.  Brown's 
colleagues  have  left  the  Government  with  him  ?  To  thai  en- 
quiry there  can  be  but  one  answer.  If  it  appeared  they  were 
not  acting  in  harmony  with  the  party  they  represented,  tliey 
should  have  placed  their  resignation  in  the  hands  of  His  Ex- 
cellency at  once.  Under  ordinary  circumstances,  so  long  as  a 
Cabinet  Minister  satisfies  the  head  of  the  Government,  he,  is 
under  no  obligation  to  anybody  else  to  resign,  on  the  theory 
that  the  Premier  is  responsible  for  the  conduct  of  liLs  col- 
leagues. A  Coalition  Government  is,  however,  the  creature  of 
t>VfO  parties,  and  may  be  said,  in  a  certain  sense,  to  have  two 
heads,  each  responsible  to  its  own  party  for  its  associates.  If 
the  head  of  one  party  retires,  the  leadership  naturally  falls  to 
the  next  in  command.  It  is  the  duty,  therefore,  of  the  next 
in  command  to  see  whether  he  has  the  confidence  of  the  paity 
in  discharging  the  duties  from  which  his  predecessor  has  re- 
tired. Should  it  appear  that  the  withdrawal  of  his  leadership 
destroys  that  confidence,  then  the  coalition  is  destroyed,  and 
he  becomes  identified  with  the  party  representing  the  majority 
of  the  Government. 

This  was  precisely  the  position  occupied  by  Messrs.  How- 
land  and  MacDougall.  The  leader  under  whom  they  entered 
the  Government,  and  who  was  practically,  though  not  theo- 
retically, their  Premier,  retired.  They  were  authorized  to  act 
in  a  certain  capacity  by  the  mandate  of  their  party,  and 
although  the  mandate  was  not  formally  withdrawn  until  the 
great  Reform  convention  of  18G7,  it  was  quite  evident  that 
they  remained  in  the  Government  without  the  approval  of  thfi 
Liberal  party. 


CHAPTER  XV. 

MR.    MACKENZIE    OFFERED   A   SEAT   IN   THE   GOVERNMENT 

Mr.  MacDougall's  Trip  to  the  Indies— Mr.  Halt's  Financial  Policj- — Constitu- 
tion (f  the  Proviiicus — Ketii'oaient  of  Mr.  (jalt — Contideuce  Weakened  in 
tlie  Coalition. 

HE  most  conclusive  evidence  that  can  be  I'urnisliod 
of  the  position  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  taken  in  the 
House,  and  of  his  standing  in  his  own  party,  was 
his  beinjr  ofiered  the  seat  in  the  Government  va-^ 
c;:^  cated  by  Mr.  Brown's  retirement.  This  offer  was  made 
through  Mr.  Howland  on  behalf  of  his  colleagues,  and 
was  fully  considered  at  a  confidential  meeting  of  Liberals  held 
in  the  town  of  Guelph,  on  the  25tli  of  December,  18G5.  It 
does  not  appear  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  at  all  anxious  for 
office,  although  he  might  well  feel  flattered  to  bj  chosen  as  the 
successor  in  the  Cabinet  of  the  great  Liberal  leader.  Notwith- 
standing Mr.  Howland's  explanations  of  the  reasons  for  IVFr. 
Brown's  retirement,  Mr,  Mackenzie  felt  the  step  which  he 
was  asked  to  take  was  so  important  as  to  justify  further  en- 
quiry. He  therefore  reserved  his  decision  until  ho  had  con- 
sulted his  leader.  On  the  27th  of  December,  18G5,  having 
seen  Mr.  Brown  in  the  meantime,  he  addressed  the  following 

letter  to  Mr.  Howland  : 

*•  Saunia,  December  27tli,  18G5. 
"  Hon.  W.  p.  Howland. 

"  My  Dear  Sir, — Since  our  mooting  at  Ouclph,  on  the  2rjtli  inat.,  when 
you  wore  good  onougli  to  tender  mo  a  soat  in  the  Cabinet,  us  President  of 

201 


'  Pwjg'n-.Hj'.JWT'g^rr '.'yT—m— — -g.'gc- 


'  i 


(I 


!|fi' 


liljit 


N!i|pi!li 


1    . 

202 


2.//^^^  0/'  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


tlio  Ccnmcil,  T  have  seen  Mr.  Brown,  and  have  received  from  liira  a  full 
statement  of  the  causes  wliioh  led  to  his  resignation.  You  will  recoLect 
that  I  informed  you  of  my  desire  to  ascertain  from  himself  how  he  regard- 
ed his  present  position.  Mr.  Brown  at  first  declined  giving  me  any  infor- 
mation, on  the  ground  that  he  was  not  authorized  by  His  Excellency,  the 
Administrator,  to  do  so,  and  that  such  information  should  first  be  com- 
municated to  Parliament. 

"  On  my  informing  him  that  I  had  already  received  from  you  a  state- 
ment of  the  causes  which  led  to  his  resignation,   he  consented  to  state 
minutely  the  causes  which  led  to  his  withdrawal  from  the  Government. 
Your  statement  of  the  reasons  which  you  understood  to  actuate  Mr.  Brown 
in  resigning  his  position  in  the  Administration — as  far  as  it  went — is  sub- 
stantially the  same  as  that  given  by  Mr.  Brown  himself.     I  find,  however, 
that  very  nuich  of  what,  in  my  opinion,  was  essential  to  a  proper  under- 
standing of  Mr.-  Brown's  position  was  connnunicated  at  the  meeting  above 
referred  to.     I  understood  you  to  say  that  the  issue  between  Mr.  Brown 
and  the  other  members  of  the  Government   was  confined  entirely  to  the 
sanction  of  the  minutes  of  Council  relating  to  the  adoption  of  the  Reci- 
procity Treaty,  a  copy  of  whicli  you  road  to  me,  although  personal  feelings 
might  have  increased  the  dissatisfaction  ho  felt,  and  which  caused  him  to 
resign.     I  also  understood  you  to  say  that  the  Government  of  the  United 
States  had  formally  intimated  to  the  Canadian  Government  their  final  de- 
cision, that  commercial  treaties  (affecting  the  revenue)  between  the  United 
States  and  foreign  countries  are  unconstitutional,  and  consequently  that 
any  commercial  arrangement  between  the  British  North  American  Pro- 
vinces and  the  United  States  must  necessarily  be  provided  by  concurrent 
legislation  in  the  two  countries.     Assuming  these  statements  to  be  per- 
fectly correct  and  full,  I  could  see  no  sufficieut  reason  for  Mr.  Brown 
leaving  the  Government,  or  that  my  entering  the  Government  as  his  suc- 
cessor, would  be  distasteful  to  the  party  to  whom  I  would  look  for  sup- 
port as  a  member  of  the  Government,  or  be  in  any  way  wrong  in  itself. 
I  am  now  led  to  believe  that  the  adoption  of  the  minute  of  Council  refer- 
red to  was  but  the  culminating  act  of  a  series  of  circumstances  connected 
with  the  jicnding  negotiations  against  which  Mr.  Brown  j)rotested  as  im- 
proper and  seriously  prejudicial  to  our  interests  as  a  Province. 

*'  Subsequent  reflection  also  convinced  me  that  there  could  hardly  have 
been  any  formal  declaration  from  the  Government  of  the  United  St^vten 


OFFERED  A  SEAT  IN  THE  GOVERXMEXT. 


203 


announcing  that  conrtnierclal  treaties  wore  uncon<?titationivl,  inasmuch  as 
tliiit  Government  have  very  recently  entered  into  treaties  of  a  similar  l<ind 
with  other  nations.  I  do  not,  of  coui'sc,  doubt  that  this  idea  of  Lei^islati\e 
Reciprocity  has  been  suggested  from  official  quarters  in  the  United  States  as 
tlie  proper  course  for  the  purjiose  of  accomplishing  an  object,  but  I  have 
not  heard  anything  which  would  lead  me  to  believe  that  a  treaty  could 
not  be  obtained,  similar  to  the  Treaty  of  1854,  had  that  suggestion  been 
firmly  combated  by  the  Canadian  Government. 

"As  I  stated  at  our  interview,  I  regard  this  proposal  of  regulating  our 
commercial  intercourse  by  reciprocal  legislation  as  of  little  value  ccMupared 
with  a  treaty  extending  over  a  term  of  years,  ami  as  calculated  to  keep 
the  minds  of  our  peoi)le  ot'.,"aged  in  tralhc  with  the  United  ytutes  in  a 
constant  state  of  doubt  and  alarm. 

"  Under  these  circumstances,  I  feel  that  I  could  not  defend  the  policy 
set  forth  and  adopted  in  the  Minute  of  Council,  or  justify  myself  for  ac- 
cepting office  with  the  convictions  I  entertain.  I  nmst  therefore  decline 
the  otter  of  a  seat  in  the  Cabinet  you  offered  for  my  acceptance,  with  the 
concurrence  of  His  Excellency  the  Administrator  and  your  colleagues. 

"  1  am,  my  dear  sir, 

"  Yours  faithfully, 

"A   Mackenzie." 


Early  in  the  followiufj  year  the  vacant  scat  was  offered  to 
ami  accepted  by  Mr.  Fergussou-Blaii-,  and  the  three  places  in 
the  coaUtion  Government  held  by  Liberals  were  ar^ain  filled. 

In  January,  LSOO,  Messrs.  Gait  and  Rowland  proceeded  to 
Washington  to  secure  an  extension  of  the  Reciprocity  Treaty 
about  to  exnire;  or,  if  an  extension  were  not  obtainable,  to 
secure  such  moditications  as  would  prevent  tlie  anticipated  in- 
jury to  the  trade  of  Canada.  After  six  weeks  spent  at  the 
capital  in  close  intercourse  with  the  United  States  Govern- 
ment, they  returned  to  Canada  without  having  accomplished 
the  object  of  their  mission. 

Mr.  MacDougall  returned  in  May  from  his  trip  to  the  West 
Indies  antl  Brazil,  and  report(Ml  that  these  tropical  countries 


t  r-is^^rre^irt/  r^-j^-ro  -"rt»i  -otg^yv.'fl 


ill 


iiiilii! 


i'ijil 


ii:Wiii 


11 


204 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


afforded  many  openings  for  the  enlai'gemcnt  of  Canadian  com- 
merce. 

On  tlio  8th  of  June,  Parliament  assembled  for  the  first  time 
in  the  new  buildings  at  Ottawa,  and  passed  the  Address  in 
reply  to  His  Excellency's  Speech,  after  a  brief  debate  on 
a  motion  by  Mr.  Dorion,  seconded  by  Mr.  Holton,  protesting 
against  Confederation  being  agreed  to  by  Parliament  without 
reference  to  the  popular  vote.  The  Ministerial  explanations 
with  regard  to  Mr.  Brown's  retirement,  which  were  anticipatetl 
in  the  preceding  chapter,  were  th  "'ii  given,  and  the  House  at 
once  settled  down  to  the  business  of  the  session. 

The  Liberal  party  occupied  a  very  embarrassing  position. 
Although  Mr.  Brown  had  retired  from  the  Cabinet,  he  still 
held  his  scat  in  Parliament,  and  his  followers  in  the  House 
were  sometimes  obliged  to  choose  between  the  policy  which  he 
enunciated,  and  the  policy  of  the  Government  in  which  three 
Liberals  still  held  office.  But  while  he  took  strong  ground 
against  the  Government  on  the  question  of  reciprocity,  and 
on  its  fiscal  and  banking  policy,  he  never  wavered  in  his 
allegiance  to  the  great  scheme  of  Confederation.  The  oppo- 
sition, however,  which  he  felt  obliged  to  oiler  on  much  of 
their  policy,  tended  greatly  to  the  disturbance  of  that  entente 
cordiale  which  should  exist  between  tiie  members  of  a  party. 
Messrs.  Howland,  MacDougall  and  Fergusson-Blair  could  not 
help  but  feel  that  an  attack  upon  the  Government,  of  which 
they  were  members,  was  an  attack  upon  them,  and  naturally 
enough  those  who  approved  of  continuing  the  coalition,  sym- 
pathised with  the  Liberal  Ministers.  The  effect  upon  the 
country  was  equally  demoralizing.  The  Reform  party  ap- 
peared to  be  divided  into  two  canq)s,  and  although  their  dif- 
ferences were  overshadowed  by  their  unanimity  on  the  ques- 
tion of   Confederation,  these  differences  had,  nevcrthelesa,  a 


OFFERED  A  SEAT  IN  THE  GOVE  UN  M  EXT. 


205 


disintdgrtiting  eifect,  the  result  of  wliieh  became  afterwards 
apparent  in  the  general  election  of  18G7.  For  instance,  Mr. 
Brown  opposed  with  great  force  and  vigor  Mr.  Gait's  resolu- 
tions for  revising  the  tariff  and  in  the  division  which  followed 
carried  many  of  the  most  active  Liberals  with  him. 

It  was  impossible  for  him,  in  denouncing  the  policy  of  the 
Government,  to  refrain  from  striking  blows  which  would  not 
be  quickly  forgotten.  His  attack  on  the  tariff  was  peculiarly 
disturbing,  and  called  for  a  remonstrance  on  the  part  of  Mr. 
MacDougall,  which  clearly  indicated  that  the  breach  betAveen 
the  Liberal  members  inside  the  Government,  and  the  part}' 
outside  the  Government,  was  widening  every  day.  Speaking 
for  himself  and  Mr.  Howland,  Mr.  MacDougall  said :  "  They  had 
made  up  their  mind  to  stand  their  ground  and  defend  their 
position,  no  matter  by  wdiom  attacked.  Tliey  would  fire  gun 
for  gun,  even  although  Mr.  Brown  had  a  powerful  organ  at 
his  disposal,  v»'hich  he  could  hold  over  the  heads  of  men  in 
the  Government  and  out  of  it,  and  coerce  them  to  his  views. 
He  believed  it  was  the  dut}''  of  the  Liberals  to  relieve  the 
party  and  the  country  of  the  incubus,  the  terrorism  and  the 
domination  exercised  by  Mr.  Brown,  who  was  insertin«>-  a 
wedge  to  split  the  Liberal  party." 

In  the  debate  in  which  Mr.  Gait's  financial  policy  was  so 
fully  criticised,  Mr.  Mackenzie  took  a  leading  part,  protesting 
then,  as  he  did  in  1878,  against  a  tariff'  based  upon  protection 
ideas,  and  pointing  out  the  utter  futility  of  such  a  tariff'  to  aid 
permanently  the  industries  of  the  country.  His  reply  to  Mr. 
MacDougall  was  pointed  and  vigorous,  and  elicited  the  hearty 
applause  of  the  Liberal  members  of  the  House.  Hitherto, 
tliough  not  a  cordial  ally  of  Mr.  ALu'Dougall,  he  had  supported 
him,  as  a  representative  of  the  Lib(M-al  party,  in  the  Adminis- 
tration.    It  was  evident,  from  this  debate,  that  their  attitude 


I  - 

I 


'^stftKJLttia^suj^iJimMa  i^j-wi  •■*'  <i»— »» 


206 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDER  MACKEXZIE. 


lilliii' 


ifiiiiii 


towards  each  eather  was  fast  undergoing  a  change  ;  and  their 
many  encounters  in  parliament  and  on  the  pubHc  platform, 
during  the  next  fourteen  years,  showed  how  strongly  Mr. 
Mackenzie  felt  that  Mr.  MacDouo-all  could  not  be  trusted  as  an 
exponent  of  Liberal  principles. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  insisted  very  strongly  that  Mr.  MacDougall 
and  his  I^iberal  allies  in  the  Government  had  not  kept  faith 
with  the  Liberal  party.  The  Liberals  were  not  consulted 
with  regard  to  the  proposed  change  in  the  taritt".  In  re- 
arranging the  representation  of  Upper  Canada  in  the  Legis- 
lative Assembly,  new  constituencies  were  formed  without 
the  knowledge  or  consent  of  the  Liberal  part3^  "  It  would 
have  been  an  easy  matter,"  Mr.  Mackenzie  said,  "  for  Mr. 
MacDougall  and  his  colleagues  to  consult  the  Liberals  on  all 
these  points.  He  (MacDougall)  was  made  a  member  of  the 
Government  in  the  first  instance  at  the  request  of  the  Liberal 
party,  and  he  should  not  presume  to  represent  the  Liberals 
until  lie  had  ascertained  their  views.  Many  of  the  diflSculties 
and  dissensions  of  the  present  session  were  owing  to  the  appa- 
rent determination  of  the  Liberal  members  of  the  Government 
to  act  independently  of  the  party." 

The  great  measure  of  the  session  was  the  adoption  by  the 
House  of  the  provincial  constitutions,  which  were  afterwards 
incorporated  in  the  British  North  America  Act.  Resolu- 
tions providing  for  the  local  government  and  legislation  of 
Lower  and  Upper  Canada  were  introduced  by  Mr.  John  A. 
Macdonald  on  the  13th  of  July,  and  occupied  the  attention  of 
the  House  for  a  considerable  portion  of  the  remainder  of 
the  session.  Mi-.  Dorion,  on  behalf  of  Lower  Canada,  asked 
for  a  Legislative  Assembly  with  one  Chamber,  similar  to  that 
proposed  for  Upper  Canada,  on  the  ground  of  economy  autl 
simplicity.     This  proposition  was  negatived  on  a  vote  of  31 


^^i*--'ii 


OFFEllED  A  SEA  T  IX  THE  GO  VERNMENT. 


-'07 


to  61).  Mr.  John  Hillyard  Cameron,  seconded  by  Mr.  Morris, 
asked  that  the  Legislature  ot"  Upper  Canada  should  consist  of 
two  Chambers,  a  Legislative  Assembly  and  a  Legislati\'e 
Council.  This  was  negatived  on  a  vote  of  13  to  86.  Mr. 
Dorion  then  asked  that  the  members  of  the  Legislative  Coun- 
cil from  Lower  Canada  be  elected  by  the  people;  this  also 
was  refused  by  the  House.  The  resolutions  were  Hnally 
passed,  and  an  humble  address  to  Her  Majesty  with  respect  to 
them  agreed  to  on  the  11th  of  August.  Thus  the  second  step, 
so  far  as  Canada  was  concerned,  was  taken  towards  tlie  great 
scheme  of  Confederation. 

By  the  Quebec  resolutions,  in  favor  of  Confederation,  what- 
ever legislation  existed  in  each  Province  with  regard  to 
education  at  the  time  of  Confederation  was  declared  to  be 
irrevocable,  so  far  as  the  Local  Legisla^-ures  were  concerned. 
There  were  two  bills  before  the  House  with  respect  to  separ- 
ate schools ;  one  in  the  hands  of  Mr.  Langevin,  Solicitor-Gen- 
eral East,  and  one  in  the  hands  of  Mr.  Bell,  by  which  it  was 
proposed  to  extend  to  the  Roman  Catholic  minority  in  Upper 
Canada  similar  and  equal  privileges  with  those  granted  by  the 
Legislature  to  the  Protestant  minority  in  Lower  Canada.  Mr. 
Gait  supported  Mr.  Langevin's  bill,  although  it  was  quite  evi- 
dent that  it  was  not  acceptable  to  the  majority  of  the  Roman 
Catholics  in  Lower  Canada.  In  the  same  way,  Mr.  Bell's  bill 
respecting  separate  schools  in  Upper  Canada  was  opposed  by 
every  member  of  the  Government  from  Upper  Canada  except 
Mr.  John  A.  Macdonald.  Had  these  bills  gone  to  a  vote,  both 
would  probably  have  passed,  and,  as  stated  by  the  Attorney- 
General,  "  there  would  have  been  the  unusual  spectacle  of  a 
bill  atlecting  education  in  Upper  Canada  carried  by  a  Lower 
Canadian  majority,  and  a  similar  Bill  for  Lower  Canada  car- 
ried against  the  will  of  the  majority  of  that  section."     The 


r?.'7rrr-"r".!^T"  r^'w;  'sz:.fi>  ■3P'-*-t=-:-; 


1 1    I    iiiiiii    III  mm  J 


ill 


m 


208 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDEli  MACKENZIE. 


GoveiTiment  having  decided  to  abandon  both  bills,  Mr.  Gait 
felt  it  to  be  his  duty  to  re8i<^n.  His  plac(i  was  tilled  by  ^Ir. 
How'land,  as  Minister  of  Finance. 

Mr.  Gait's  retirement  from  the  Government  gave  great 
satisfaction  to  the  Liberal  party.  Under  him  the  debt  of  the 
Province  had  largely  increased.  Deficits  occurred  with  w'on- 
derful  regularity,  although  the  tariff  had  been  several  times 
advanced.  His  attempt  to  foist  Legislative  Keciprocity  on 
the  country,  and  to  change  our  banking  system,  showed  the 
tiangerous  tendency  of  his  legislation.  With  his  retirement 
from  oflice  it  was  expected  many  of  those  evils  would  be 
corrected. 

On  the  15th  of  August  the  House  prorogued,  and  the  last 
session  of  Parliament,  under  the  Act  for  the  union  of  the  two 
Canadas,  was  brought  to  an  end.  During  the  tw^enty-five 
years  that  passed  since  Upper  and  Lower  Canada  were  united 
under  one  Legislature,  the  country  had  been  singularly  pros- 
perous. Immigrants  from  the  old  world,  some  with  consider- 
able means,  others  with  little  capital  except  a  pair  of  strong 
arms,  had  cleared  the  forests  of  Upper  Canada,  and  had  made 
for  themselves  comfortable  homes  in  spite  of  all  the  difficulties 
incident  to  new  settlements.  Although  these  immiorants 
were  of  mixed  nationalities  and  creeds,  they  were,  in  the 
main,  men  and  women  of  great  physical  vigor  and  force  of 
character.  The  ownership  of  the  soil  w^as  to  them  an  extra- 
ordinary privilege,  and  added  greatly  to  their  attachment 
to  their  country.  The  disabilities  under  which  they  labored 
at  home  intensified  their  love  of  freedom,  and  with  the  right 
which  they  possessed,  for  the  first  time,  of  making  their  own 
laws,  it  was  natural  that  they  would  resist  the  transfer  to 
or  the  continuation  of  such  disabilities  in  the  land  of  their 
adoption.     Under   such  circumstances,  the  enjoyment  of  thft 


OFF  EH  ED  A  SEAT  IN  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


209 


fullest  social  and  political  liberty  should  have  been  the  her- 
itage of  every  citizen  of  Canada.  That  it  was  not  so  may  be 
taken  as  an  evidence  of  the  strange  perversity  and  maladroit 
character  of  human  nature.  For  instance,  who  would  have 
thought  that  the  people  of  Canada,  who  had  escaped  from 
a  sj'stem  of  tithing  and  church  rents  in  the  old  land,  would 
have  loaded  themselves  down  with  exactions  of  a  similar 
character  in  their  new  home  ?  Or,  who  would  have  thou^-ht 
that  to  relieve  the  country  of  a  statfj  church,  with  its  lav^e 
endowments  and  constantly  increasing  revenues,  would  have 
necessitated  years  of  agitation,  and  would  have  aroused  reli- 
oious  animosities  which  the  lapse  of  thirty  years  have  not 
entirely  abated  ?  What  had  Canada  to  do  with  a  state  church 
and  rectories  and  sectarian  privileges  such  as  the  medioevalisra 
ol"  England  had  sanctioned  and  approved  ?  And  yet  there 
were  many  patriotic  men  who  believed  that  only  in  this  way 
could  religion  be  fostered  and  infidelity  restrained  even  in 
Canada. 

The  claims  for  religious  supremacy  were,  however,  but  the 
counterpart  of  that  political  pretentiousness  which  Toryism 
invariably  asserts  wherever  it  has  the  power.  Within  its 
favored  circle  only  is  to  be  found,  so  it  believes,  the  capacity 
to  o-overn  and  the  rieht  to  rule.  The  more  limited  the  area  of 
this  right,  the  more  dignified  the  men  who  exercise  it,  and  the 
more  limited  the  privileges  of  the  ruled,  the  more  perfect  the 
administration  of  the  rulers.  Why  should  Roman  Catholics 
sit  in  Parliament  ?  said  the  Tories  of  Daniel  O'Connell's  time. 
Why  should  the  rotten  boroughs  be  abolished  ?  said  the  Tories 
of  Lord  John  Eussoll's  time.  Wliy  should  the  masses  have  free 
bread  ?  said  the  Tories  of  Robert  Peel's  time.  Why  should 
the  franchise  be   extended   to   counties   and   to   agricultural 

laborers  ?  said  the  Tories  of  more  recent  date.     Why  should 
N 


I  Si; 


•Jil 


210 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  A  LEX  A  XD  EH  MACKENZIE. 


the  Irish  Church  be  disestablished,  or  Ireland  be  permitted  to 
manage  its  own  local  affairs  ?  say  the  Tories  of  to-day.  Mu- 
tatis mutandis,  Canadian  Liberals  had  to  answer  all  these 
questions ;  and,  although  their  answer  was  not  recognized  by 
Parliament  till  after  many  a  long  straggle,  it  came  at  last, 
marred  in  some  instances  by  restrictions  which  weakened  its 
effect,  but  substantial  enough  to  relieve,  even  where  it  did  not 
remove,  the  grievance  complained  of.  The  Family  Compact 
was  a  Tory  institution  so  firmly  intrenched  in  office  as  to  be 
removable  only  by  rebellion.  The  control  of  Parliament  by 
placemen  and  officers  of  the  Government  was  a  Tory  manoeu- 
vre as  indefensible  as  it  was  mischievous.  The  opposition  to 
Upper  Canada,  in  her  demands  for  constitutional  changes  to 
which  she  was  entitled,  was  in  keeping  with  the  traditions  of 
Toryism  from  the  beginning  of  the  century. 

The  Liberalism,  of  which  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  such  an  able 
exponent,  was  diametrically  opposed  to  the  Toryism  of  the  day. 
He  wanted  no  placeman  in  Parliament,  as  he  believed  it  im- 
possible for  Parliament  to  be  a  correct  exponent  of  the  public 
will  so  long  as  any  of  its  members  were  dependent  upon  tlie 
Executive.  The  great  council  of  the  nation  was,  to  his  mind, 
a  body  invested  witlithe  gravest  responsibilities,  and  that  sen- 
sitiveness to  the  cj'.ll  of  duty  wliich  should  pertain  to  its 
decisions,  was  utterly  inconsistent  with  its  organization  on 
any  other  than  the  most  independent  lines.  He  had  seen  too 
much  of  the  evils  of  the  Family  Compact  in  Canada,  and  of  tlie 
rotten  borough  system  in  the  old  country,  to  acquiesce  quietly 
in  a  Parliament  where  officials  had  the  same  standing  as  the 
accredited  representatives  of  the  people. 

Ecclesiastical  influence  in  politics  was  equally  repugnant  to 
his  mind.  The  sacerdotalism  which  too  often  preferred  the 
fleece  to  the  flock,  inevitably  followed  the  connection  of  church 


9^' 


OFFERED  A  SEA  T  IN  TUE  GO  VERNMENT. 


211 


and  state,  and  the  only  way  to  preserve  the  one  from  domina- 
tion and  the  other  from  deterioration,  was  to  insist  upon  their 
uhsohite  divorce.  In  this  way  only,  he  contended,  would  the 
sovereignty  of  Parliament  be  impartially  maintained,  and  un- 
less maintained  in  its  integrity,  representative  institutions 
would  degenerate  into  an  oligarcliy ;  and  a  self-interested 
majority  would  develop  into  a  tyranny  no  less  real  than  the 
autocracy  of  the  Stuart  period. 

It  v/a3  this  uncompromising  character  of  his  political  con- 
victions that  led  him  to  oppose  a  coalition  in  every  shape  and 
f(  rm,  and,  in  later  years,  to  resist  connnercial  combinations, 

which  experience  has  shown  to  lo  as  dangerous  to  cur  in- 
stitutions PS  the  ccc'esiasticiil  oi-  social  privileges  of  thirty 
years  ago. 


41  w 


I 


lii 


;  i 


i 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

CONFEDERATION  APPROVED  BY  THE  HOUSE  OF  COMMONS. 

Troubles  in  the  Maritime  Provinces — Delegation  to  England — Amendment  to 
the  Quebec  Resolutions— The  Education  Clause— Additional  Subsidies  to 
Nova  Scotia— The  Royal  Proclamation— The  Father  of  Confederation - 
Claims  of  Mr.  Brown  to  this  Honor. 

T  was  already  pointed  out  that  New  Brunswick,  by 
an  overwhelming  vote,  defeated  the  party  that  es- 
p^-^jj^  poused  Confederation,  and  that  a  change  of  Gov- 
f^lJn\  "  ernment  had  taken  place.  A  second  appeal  to  the 
^^  "  people,  a  year  later,  resulted  in  the  reversal  of  the 
previous  vote,  and  the  acceptance  of  Confederation  by 
the  people  at  the  polls.  In  Nova  Scotia,  there  had  been  no 
appeal  to  the  people.  The  Government  stood  manfully  by  the 
Quebec  resolutions  and,  with  New  Brunswick,  sent  a  deputa- 
tion to  London  to  confer  with  the  Imperial  authorities  respect- 
ing the  completion  of  the  scheme.  Prince  Edward  Island  had 
refused  to  take  further  part  in  the  nogotiations,  largely  owing 
to  the  irresolute  manner  in  which  the  delegates  to  Quebec 
dealt  with  the  question  in  their  own  Legislature.  After  some 
delay,  owing  to  the  Fenian  invasion  in  Canada,  delegates  from 
the  four  Provinces  finally  met  in  London,  at  the  Westminster 
Palace  hotel,  on  the  4th  of  December,  to  prepare  draft  bills  for 
submission  to  the  Imperial  Parliament,  which  was  then  about 
to  assemble.  The  delegates  were  :  From  Canada,  Messrs.  Mac- 
donald  (John  A.),   Cartier,  Gait,  Rowland,  MacDougall,   and 

Langevin ;  from  Nova  Scotia,  Messrs.  Tuoper,  Henry,  Archi- 

212 


coy  FEDERATION  APPROVED. 


213 


hakl,  McCully,  and  Ritchie ;  from  New   Bininswick,  Me-  srs, 
Tilley,  Fisher,  Mitchell,  Johnson  and  Wihnot. 

It  is  not  our  purpose  to  discuss  the  necessarily  limited  au- 
thority which  tliese  delegates  possessed  in  finally  dealing  with 
tlie  Quebec  resolutions.  Thoy  were  sent  to  London  not  to 
legislate,  but  to  advise  the  Imperial  Government  with  regard 
to  the  provisions  of  an  Act  based  upon  the  Quebec  reso- 
lutions. Although  devoid  of  kigislative  power,  they  were  not 
free,  however,  from  responsibilitv  neither  were  they  beyond 
the  pale  of  censure  by  their  respective  Provinces,  provided  the 
conclusions  they  reached  were  ill-advised.  Of  course,  no  one 
would  object  to  any  alteration  in  the  Quebec  resolutions  that 
was  immaterial  in  its  effects,  or  that  did  not  disturb  the  politi- 
cal or  financial  equipoise  of  the  Constitution  as  accepted  by 
the  Provinces  through  their  respective  Legislatures,  and  though 
the  final  responsibility  for  legislation  rested  with  the  House  of 
Commons,  they,  equally  with  the  Imperial  Parliament,  may 
justly  be  held  responsible  for  every  clause  in  the  British  North 
America  Act. 

Only  two  amendments  of  the  Quebec  resolutions  gave  rise 
afterwards  to  discussion : Fi :st,  the  provision.-  of  the  forty- 
third  resolution  respecting  education,  affecting  the  rights  and 
privileges  of  the  Protestant  and  Catholic  minorities  in  the  two 
Canadas,  were  extended  to  the  minorities  in  any  Province 
having  rights  or  privileges  by  law  as  to  denominational 
schools,  at  the  time  when  the  Union  wxnt  into  operation. 
An  additional  provision  was  made,  allowing  an  appeal  to  the 
Governor-General  in  Council  against  any  acts  or  decisions  of 
the  local  authorities  which  may  affect  the  rights  or  privileges 
of  the  Protestant  or  Catholic  minority  in  the  matter  of  educa- 
tion. 

The  second  amendment,  wliich  gave  rise  to  much  discus- 


I 

! 


214 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


I 


1 


sion,  was  the  "  better  terms  **  granted  to  Nova  Scotia  and 
New  Brunswick.  By  the  original  resolutions,  each  Province 
was  to  be  allowed  an  annual  grant  of  eighty  cents  per  head 
of  the  population,  according  to  the  census  of  1  SGI.  By  the 
terms  agreed  upon  at  London,  a  subsidy,  in  addition  to  the  per 
capita  allowance,  was  to  be  paid  to  the  different  Provinces  as 
follows :  Upper  Canada,  $80,000 ;  Lower  Canada,  870,000 ; 
Nova  Scotia,  SGO,000 ;  New  Brunswick,  650,000  ;  and  the  capi- 
tation subsidy  was  extended,  in  t'le  last  two  mentioned  Pro- 
vinces, until  the  population  reached  400,000.  A  bill  based 
upon  the  Quebec  resolutions,  thus  amended,  was  finally  sub- 
mitted to  the  Imperial  Parliament,  and  passed  on  the  29tli  of 
March,  1867.  The  Royal  Proclamation,  declaring  that  the  Act 
should  come  into  force  on  the  first  of  July,  1867,  was  issued  at 
Win  Isor  on  the  22nd  of  JMay. 

Now  that  Confederation  had  become  a  substantial  fact,  it  is 
worth  while  to  enquire  through  whose  instrumentality  was  it 
specially  brought  about.  Who  was  the  real  father  of  Con- 
federation ?  There  seems  to  be  no  doubt  that  George  Wash- 
ington was  the  founder  of  Lhe  United  States ;  that  Prince 
Bismai'ck  secured  the  unification  of  Germany ;  that  Count 
Cavour  re-organized  the  kingdom  of  Italy ;  thut  William  tlio 
Third  gave  a  new  meaning  to  Responsible  Government  in 
England.  But  who  is  the  father  of  Confederation  ?  is  a  ques- 
tion still  in  dispute.  With  one  accord,  the  Conservative  party 
claim  this  honor  for  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald.  This  claim  is 
disputed  by  the  LiberaL-.  and  for  good  reasons. 

At  no  period  in  the  history  of  Canada,  prior  to  the  coalition 
of  1864,  does  it  appear  that  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald  favored 
the  Federal  principle.  lie  intrigued  agn'nst  the  Brown- 
Doriou  Administration  of  1858,  which  had  pledged  itself  to 
the  settlement  of  the  constitutional  difliculties  between  Upper 


agiU 


cox  FED  ERA  TiON  APPROVED. 


215 


and  Lower  Canada  on  the  basis  of  Representation  by  Popula- 
tion. He  ridiculed  the  conclusions  arrived  at  by  tiie  Reform 
Convention  of  1859,  where  a  federation  of  the  two  Canadas 
on  the  principle  of  a  joint  authority  over  matters  common  to 
the  two  Provinces  was  suggested.  Speaking  of  the  joint  au- 
thority at  London,  Mr.  Macdonald  said  :  "  If  we  ask  ourselves 
what  this  joint  authority  is,  we  shall  see  how  crude  the  idea 
is.  Is  it  a  legislature,  or  is  it  a  bench  of  bishops  ?  If  it  means 
anvthincf,  it  means  that  Canada  is  to  be  divided  into  two,  that 
there  are  to  be  two  separate  legislatures  with  a  central  power. 
.  .  .  .  To  such  a  consummation  I  am  altogether  opposed." 
On  the  question  of  Representation  by  Population,  he  said  in 
the  Legislative  Assembly'',  on  the  19th  of  April,  1861,  "  to 
adopt  the  measure  would  be  to  take  a  retrograde  stop."  And 
he  argued  at  very  great  length  against  the  bill  introduced  by 
Mr.  Ferguson,  of  South  Simcoe,  in  favor  of  Representation 
by  Population.  On  the  1st  of  April,  18G2,  he  voted  against  a 
resolution  moved  by  Mr.  MacDougall,  in  winch  a  protest  was 
made  against  the  inequality  in  the  representation  between 
Upper  and  Lower  Canada.  On  the  29th  of  August,  18G3,  he 
repeated  tlie  vote  of  the  previous  year.  But  more  important 
than  any  of  these  was  the  motion  introduced  by  Mr.  Brown, 
on  the  14th  of  March,  1804,  for  the  appointment  of  a  select 
con)mittee  of  twenty  members  to  enquire  into  and  report  upon 
the  constitutional  difficulties  between  Upper  and  Lower  Can- 
ada. Even  this  motion,  Mr.  Macdonald  resisted,  and  when  on 
the  14tli  of  Juno  the  committee  reported  that  a  strong  feeling 
was  found  to  exist  among  the  members  of  the  committee  in 
favor  of  cbanges  in  the  direction  of  a  federative  system,  ap- 
plied either  to  Canada  alone  or  to  the  who'.-;  British  North 
American  Provinces,  and  recommended  that  the  subject  bo 
again  referred  to  a  connnittee  at  the  next  session  of  Parlia- 


-y-'i 

till 

Dill 

III 


i\m 


>■  IIIIMlJl 


'Nifii 


LIFJS  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 

ment,  Mr.  Macdonald  voted  with  two  others  against  the  find- 
ing of  the  committee. 

Here  we  have  the  first  expression  of  opinion  in  favor  of 
Confederation,  which  met  with  the  approval  of  a  majority  of 
the  Assembly,  and  which  became,  a  week  later,  the  basis  of 
the  Coalition  Government  of  which  Mr.  Brown  was  a  mem- 
ber. To  this  we  are  indebted  for  Confederation.  We  have 
no  desire  to  underrate  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald's  usefulness  in 
framing  the  constitution  and  in  enlisting  the  sympathies  of 
the  Conservative  party  in  its  favor.  But  Sir  John  A.  Macdon- 
ald never  was  a  Federationist.  It  was  the  sharp  shock  of  a 
defeat  in  the  House,  revealing  to  him  the  fact  that  his  poU4cal 
existence  depended  upon  the  acceptance  of  auch  a  scheme, 
thflt  changed  his  views  on  Federation.  Besides,  the  conditions 
on  which  tlie  coalition  was  formed  were  determined  by  Mr. 
Brown,  not  by  Mr.  Macdonald,  and  Sir  John  was  an  assenting 
party,  we  need  not  say  from  love  of  office  or  from  any  sordid 
motive.  It  is  sufficient  for  the  argument  that  the  terms  of 
the  coalition  were  acquiesced  in  by  him,  not  originated  by  hiui. 

It  has  been  contended  that  because  Mr.  Brown  left  the 
coalition  before  Federation  was  actually  completed,  that  he 
has  forfeited  all  his  claims  to  the  distinction  of  beinrj  its 
originator.  Such  an  objection  is  absurd.  The  resolutions 
subsequently  embodied  in  the  British  North  America  Act  were 
approved  by  the  Quebec  Conference,  of  which  Mr.  Brown  was 
the  leading  member.  They  were  carried  through  the  Legisla- 
tive Assembly  of  Canada  while  he  was  still  President  of  the 
Council.  From  his  resignation  on  the  18th  of  December, 
1865,  till  the  Royal  Proclamaticn  was  issued  in  May,  1807 , 
which  announced  the  birth  of  the  Dominion,  Mr.  Brown  never 
wavered  in  his  loyalty  to  Confederation.  His  retirement 
from  the  Government,   though  ill-udviKcd  as  a  i^olitical  move 


CONFEDERA  TION  A  PPJiO  VED. 


217 


could  not  imperil  a  scheme  which  had  been  advanced  as  fa-**  as 
the  Canadian  Parliament  had  power  to  advance  it.  To  the 
man  then  who  first  sounded  the  bugle-call  by  which  the  best 
men  of  Canada  and  afterwards  of  the  Maritime  Provinces 
were  summoned  to  lay  aside  their  political  animosities  and 
unite  together  for  the  present  and  future  prosperity  of  British 
North  America,  must  be  awarded  the  first  place  in  the  hearts 
of  his  countrymen  as  the  founder  of  a  new  nation,  and  the 
records  of  Parliament  show  that  that  man  was  the  Hon.  Geo. 
Brown,  the  leader  of  the  Liberal  party. 


1  f< 

'' 

\ 

^  1 

|i 

CllMTHR  XVll. 


THE   NEW   DOMINION. 


Formation  of  tl>c  First  GoveiniiioiiL—Aiiotlier  (Joiilition — Great  Reform  Con- 
vontion  in  Toronto— MacDougiiU's  and  lIowlaiul'H  Defence— Speech  by  Mr. 
Mackenzie — I'osition  of  tlie  Iiil)eral  Party— Mr.  Mackenzie's  (.'aiiij)aign  in 
T^anil)ton — Contests  witli  Mr.  MacDougall — Results  of  tlie  Election. 


WONG  some  of  the  clian^cs  brou^^ht  about  by  Con- 
ledcratioii  may  bo  mentioned  the  new  nomenclature, 


li'iii 


(Quebec.  The  Dominion  of  Canada  takes  tiie  place  of  British 
North  America,  and  the  Act  of  Confederation  takes  the  place 
of  the  Union  Act.  The  national  horizon  was  certainly  widened  ; 
the  political  horizon,  unfortunately,  was  still  very  larg.dy 
provincial. 

With  the  inau<^uration  of  the  new  Dominion  came  the  foj*- 
niation  of  a  new  Government.  Lord  Monck,  who  was  sworn 
in  as  Governor -General  of  the  J)ominion  of  Canada,  called  upon 
Sir  .John  A.  Macdonald,  now  kni^dited  in  reco^niition  of  Ids 
services  in  connection  with  (Jonfederation,  to  form  a  new 
Government.  He  was  accordin;.,dy  sworn  in  as  i'remier,  his 
colleagues  from  Ontario  being  Messrs.  Jilair,  ] lowland,  Mac- 
Dougall and  Cami)b(;ll;  from  Quelxic,   Messrs.  Cartier,  Gait. 

Chapais  and  Lan^eviu ;  from  New  Brunswick,  Messrs.  Tillcy 

21M 


77/ A'  X/'JIV  /)().][ IXJO.V. 


21!) 


and  Mitchell;  IVoiii  Nova  Scotia,  Messrs.  Archibald  and 
Koimy. 

In  orffim/.'mrr  his  Govorninonfc,  Sir  John  Mac<loiiald  evi- 
dently desired  that  each  ol'  the  four  Provinces  of  the  Dom- 
inion should  be  represented  ;  and  no  doubt,  in  the  interests  ol' 
Confederation,  this  was  necessary.  That  ho  was  under  the 
necessity  of  refjarding  provincial  boundaries  is  unfortunate; 
and  that  his  successors,  for  a  (piarter  of  a  century  now,  have 
been  unable  to  form  a  Clovernment  on  the  merits  irrespective 
of  provincial  boundaries,  is  still  more  uid'oi-tunate.  That  per- 
fect unity  of  sentiment,  which  (confederation  oiM;j;inally  con- 
templated, and  which,  it  is  fondly  hoped,  it  will  yet  accom- 
])lish,  can  never  be  attained  initil  it  is  practicable  to  form  a 
Cabinet  irrespective  of  {)rovincial  boundaries. 

It  is  also  evident  that  Sir  John  Macdonald  had  determined 
to  i<^nore  the  party  lines  which  formerly  prcsvailed  in  Up[)er 
and  Lower  Canada,  and  to  constitute  a  Government  that  could 
ajjpeal  to  the  people  irrespective  of  the  party  issues  of  the  past- 
To  use  his  own  words :  "  I  do  not  want  it  to  be  felt  by  any 
section  of  the  country  that  they  have  no  representative  in 
tlie  Cabinet,  and  no  inlluenco  in  the  Goveriunent.  And  as 
there  are  now  no  issues  to  divide  parties,  and  as  all  that  is 
recpiircd  is  to  have  in  the  Government  the  men  who  are  best 
adapted  to  put  the  new  machinery  in  motion,  I  desire  to  ask 
those  to  join  me  wlio  hav(;  the  confidence  and  represent  the 
majorities  in  the  various  sections,  who  were  in  favor  of  the 
adoption  of  this  system  of  government,  and  who  wish  to  see 
it  satisfactorily  carried  out." 

Accordingly,  both  political  ])arties,  as  hcin^tofore  known, 
wero  crpially  represented  in  the  Government ;  ho  that,  if  its 
composition  be  regarded  from  tlu;  standpoint  of  antc-Cotd'ed- 
oration  times  it  was,  strictly  s[)eaking,  a  coalition.     Sir  John 


■  'l»it,')«.lul»4r.jatg-narr.^  -.— ?SE!=S?3<S37T^7r,  ■ 


liljllij 


•;ii 


220 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


i 


ii 


Mactlonald  insisted,  however,  that,  as  the  old  order  of  things 
had  passed  away  and  with  it  old  party  lines,  his  Government 
had  no  political  significance  whatsoever.  It  was  a  "  No  Party  " 
Government,  whose  primary  object  was  to  put  into  operation 
the  British  North  America  Act,  and  was  therefore  entitled  to  a 
"  fair  trial." 

To  this  view  the  Liberal  party  objected,  claiming  that  the 
Government  was  a  coalition  ;  that  coalitions  were  essentially 
dangerous,  except  when  formed  for  a  specific  purpose,  and  to 
solve  difficult  political  problems ;  that  there  was  no  political 
problem  now  requiring  solution,  and  to  announce  the  dissolu- 
tion of  partyism  was  merely  a  pretext  for  claiming  support  to 
which  he  was  not  entitled.  It  was  also  urged  that  the  Liberals 
who  went  into  the  coalition  of  1864,  having  accomplished  the 
pui'posc  for  which  they  had  entered  the  Government,  should 
now  retire,  and  that  to  hold  office  any  longer  was  au  act  of 
treason  to  the  Liberal  party. 

To  these  views,  Mr.  Brown,  Mr.  Mackenzie  and  the  Liberal 
party  generally,  committed  themselves  very  strongly,  not  only 
during  the  last  session  of  the  old  Parliament  of  Canada, 
but  more  particularly  during  the  months  preceding  the  general 
election  of  18G7  ;  and  when  it  was  known  that  Messrs.  How- 
land  and  MacDougall  had  decided  to  accept  positions  in  the  new 
Government,  with  Sir  John  Macdonald  as  Premier,  the  indig- 
nation of  the  Liberals  of  Ontario  was  most  intense. 

With  the  view  to  organize  the  party  in  the  Province,  and  to 
obtain  an  expression  of  opinion,  which  it  was  thought  would 
furnish  the  key-note  to  the  pending  elections,  a  Convention 
was  held  in  Toronto,  on  the  27th  of  June,  at  which  over  six 
hundred  delegates  from  all  parts  of  Ontario  were  present. 
This  convention  was  described  by  the  Glohe  as  "  magnificent 
in  number,  in  influence  and  in  enthusiasm." 


w 


THE  NEW  DOMiyiOX. 


221 


The  Convention  was  organized  by  the  appointment  of  Mr. 
Wni.  Patrick,  of  Prescott,  chairman,  and  after  the  appoint- 
ment of  committees  of  different  kinds,  the  delegates  present 
proceeded  to  the  consideration  of  various  resolutions  bearing 
upon  the  issues  before  the  country.  The  first  four  resolutions 
referred  to  the  efl^brts  of  the  Liberal  party  to  reform  political 
abuses,  and  particularly  to  secure  to  Upper  Canada  its  full 
share  in  the  government  of  the  country.  The  fifth  resolution 
embodied  the  views  of  the  Liberal  party  on  coalitions,  in  these 
words :  "  Resolved — That  coalitions  of  opposing  political  parties, 
for  ordinary  administrative  purposes,  inevitably  rcisult  in 
the  abandonment  of  principle  by  one  or  both  parties  to  the 
compact,  the  lowering  of  public  morality,  lavish  public  ex- 
penditure and  wide-spread  corruption.  That  the  coalition  of 
lS{}4i  could  only  be  justified  on  Uie  ground  of  imperious 
necessity,  as  the  only  available  mode  of  obtaining  just  re- 
presentation for  the  people  of  Upper  Canada,  and  on  the 
grounds  that  the  compact  then  made  was  for  a  specific 
measure  and  for  a  stipulated  period,  and  was  to  come  to  an 
end  60  soon  as  the  measure  was  attained.  And  while  this 
Convention  is  thoroughly  satisfied  that  the  Reform  party  has 
acted  in  the  best  interests  of  the  country  by  sustaining  tho 
Government  until  the  Confederation  measure  was  secured, 
it  deems  it  an  imperative  duty  to  declare  that  tho  temporary 
alliance  between  tho  Reform  and  Conservative  parties  should 
now  cease,  and  that  no  Government  will  be  satisfactory  to 
the  people  of  Upper  Canada  which  is  formed  and  maintained 
by  a  coalition  of  public  men  holding  opposite  political  prin- 
ciples." 

While  this  resolution  was  before  the  Convention,  the  chair- 
man announced  that  Messrs.  Mow  land  and  MacDougall,  who 
were  presont  by  invitation,  were  prepared  to  address  the  delo- 


!  i 


r 


222 


lifl:  of  the  iion.  Alexander  mackexzie. 


Mi 


#111: 


gates.  Mr.  Howlanrl  was  first  called  upon,  and  in  the  course 
of  a  carefully  prepared  address  admitted  "  that  the  object  for 
which  the  coalition  of  ISG-l  had  been  formed  was  effected, 
that  the  conditions  on  wliich  it  was  entered  into  had  been 
fulfilled,  and  that  the  compact  came  to  an  end  on  the  first  day 
of  July,  18G7."  But  he  contended  "  that  in  the  interests  of 
Confederation  it  would  be  impossible  for  him  to  decline  a  seat 
in  the  new  Government ;  particularly  as  Sir  John  Macdonald 
had  declared  that  the  Government  which  he  proposed  to  form 
was  one  in  which  arty  lines  would  be  entirely  ignored."  Mr. 
MacDougall  took  siiong  grounds  against  the  resolution,  declar- 
ing himself  willing  to  be  bound  by  the  judgment  of  the 
majority  at  the  polls  and  in  no  other  way.  He  l)lamed  Mr. 
Brown  for  leaving  the  coalition  of  1804  before  Confederation 
was  completed,  and  claimed  that  he  had  the  support  of  the 
Liberal  party,  in  refusing  to  leave  the  Government  as  Mr. 
Brown  did.  In  taking  a  portiolio  in  the  new  Government,  he 
believed  he  was  acting  in  the  interests  of  the  Liberal  party, 
and  that  he  would  be  sustained  in  his  action  by  the  Govern- 
ment The  work  which  the  coalition  of  18G-1  had  undertaken 
was  not  yet  completed,  as  other  Provinces  would  be  added  to 
the  Dominion,  if  public  affairs  were  properly  managed.  He 
claimed  for  the  Government  the  support  of  all  parties,  irre- 
spective of  politics;  as  it  would  bo  unfaif  to  condenm  them 
until  it  was  seen  whether  they  were  true  to  the  new  constitu- 
tion or  not. 

Mr.  MacDougall's  address,  although  an  able  defence  of  his 
actions,  evidently  did  not  meet  the  views  of  the  Convention, 
as  the  scathing  criticism  to  which  it  was  subjected  by  Mr. 
Brown  and  Mr.  Mackenzie  clearly  indicated.  Mr.  Mackenzie 
was  particularly  severe  on  Mr.  MacDougall  and  ridiculed  him 
for   his    fondness   for   a  seat  du  the  '^J'roasury   benches.     He 


iiiiiitli|i 


1 


THE  NEW  DOMINION. 


223 


his 

lion, 

JMr. 

Iizie 

liim 

He 


I 

if 


I 

.-I 


dissented  entirely  from  Mr,  MacDouf^all's  views  witli  rer^ard  to 
the  coahtion  of  whicli  he  was  now  a  member,  claiming  that 
old  party  issues  could  not  be  entirely  ignored,  and  that  any 
Government  of  which  Sir  John  Mactlonald  was  Premier  was  a 
Tory  Government  and  could  not  be  trusted,  and  in  ringing 
terms  he  asked  :  "  Wiuxt  luid  been  the  policy  of  the  Tory  party 
in  this  Province?  Had  it  not  been  the  constart  struggle  of 
the  Reform  party  with  the  Tories,  to  figlit  against  their  en- 
croachments on  the  rights  and  privileges  of  the  people  ?  The 
policy  of  the  Tories  or  the  Conservatives  had  been  what  their 
nauic  indicated, — to  conserve  and  preserve  all  old  abuses, — a 
policy  of  restriction  and  ecclesiastical  despotism,  which  they 
would  have  fastened  on  us,  if  they  had  had  the  power.  Tlie 
policy  of  Reformers,  on  the  other  hand,  had  been  to  secure 
that  every  man  should  stand  upon  peri'ectly  equal  terms  in 
the  eye  of  the  law ;  that  no  church  or  other  institution  should 
receive  special  privileges  from  the  State.  The  Conservative 
policy  was  here  what  it  was  in  EngUmd,  a  restrictive  one — 
one  that  cramped  the  energies  of  the  people.  It  was  the  same 
policy  as  that  which  resisted  the  repeal  of  the  penal  laws 
against  Roman  Catholicism  in  Great  Britain ;  which  enacted 
corn  laws  to  tax  the  bread  of  the  people ;  the  policy  which 
would  build  up  and  perpetuate  a  State  Establishment.  This 
policy  had  been  imported  here  and  we  had  had  the  most 
deliberate,  persistent,  and  systematic  attempts  made  to  en- 
graft on  our  system  the  abuses  against  which  the  Liberals  of 
Great  Britain  had  fought  for  centuries." 

In  the  course  of  a  speech  extending  over  an  hour,  he  re- 
viewed the  history  of  the  coaUtion  of  18G4f  and  the  object  for 
which  it  was  formed,  dissenting  in  toto  from  Mr.  MacDougall's 
viewa  as  to  the  necessity  or  propriety  of  its  continued  existence. 
When  he  declared  that  Mr.  ^lacDouirall  was  no  Ioniser  a  Liberal 


224 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


1 1., 


but  a  subordinate  member  of  Sir  John  Macdonald's  Govern- 
ment, he  was  applauded  to  the  echo.  It  was  quite  evident 
that  next  to  that  of  George  Brown  himself,  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie's speech  expressed  most  aptly  the  sentiments  of  the 
Convention,  as  shortly  after,  when  the  vote  was  taken,  only 
three  persons  declared  themselves  opposed  to  the  resolution. 

And  here  it  may  be  profitable  to  pause  in  order  rightly  to 
understand  the  position  of  the  Liberal  party  at  the  first  gen- 
eral election  under  Confederation.  It  has  already  been  shown 
that  tiie  greatest  political  power  in  the  Province  of  Ontario 
was  the  Hon.  George  Brown.  It  was  at  his  instance  that  the 
Reform  Convention  of  1859  was  called  and  Representation  by 
Population  made  the  political  watchword  of  the  Liberal 
party.  It  was  by  him  also  that  the  Liberals  of  Ontario  were 
induced  to  support  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's  Administration 
from  18G2  till  1863  in  order  to  the  removal  of  political  abuses, 
by  which  it  was  thought  the  way  would  be  prepared  for 
larger  measures  of  reform.  The  personal  sacrifices  he  made 
in  1864  and  1865  to  bring  c'bcui:  Confederation  had  greatly 
strengthened  him  in  public  estimation,  and  at  the  time  he  left 
the  coalition,  in  December,  1865,  he  liad,  beyond  doubt,  the 
undivided  confidence  of  the  Liberal  party. 

His  retirement,  however,  from  the  Government,  or,  as  Mr. 
MacDougall  put  it,  "  his  desertion  of  the  ship  in  mid-ocean  and 
baking  to  the  jolly-boat,"  greatly  weakened  his  position. 
Partly  as  a  result  of  hi",  own  tcachirig,  and  partly  as  a  relief 
from  existing  grievances.  Confederation  was  regarded  by  the 
people  of  Ontario  as  the  consummation  of  their  most  sanguine 
expectations  respecting  the  future  of  Canada ;  and  even  so 
great  a  leader  as  Mr.  Brown  was  unable  to  satisfy  his  party 
fully  that  his  retirement  was  necessary.  Even  if  Sir  John 
Macdonald  was  the  embodiment   of    duplicity  and   political 


THE  NEW  DOMINION. 


225 


villainy,  which  he  was  represented  to  be,  he  was  neverthe- 
less loyal  to  Confederation ;  and  although  unable  to  retain  his 
alliance  with  Mr.  Brown,  lie  was  still  able  to  retain  his  alli- 
ance with  Mr.  Brown's  colleagues  in  the  coalition  of  1864. 
The  ai)peal,  therefore,  which  the  Liberal  party  made  to  the 
country,  was,  to  a  certain  extent,  a  personal  one.  It  was 
Brown  against  MacDougall,  Howland  and  Blair,  or,  to  put  it  in 
other  words,  it  was  Mr.  Brown  and  party  government  against 
Sir  John  Macdonald  and  a  coalition  in  which  it  was  said 
there  were  at  least  six  Liberals. 

There  was  still  another  difficulty.  The  enlargement  of  the 
political  arena  by  the  union  of  the  four  provinces,  naturally 
obscured  old  party  lines.  To  say  that  Sir  John  Macdonald, 
the  Premier  of  Canada,  at  the  head  of  a  government,  in 
which  his  own  party  had  barely  a  majority,  was  as  much  to 
be  dreaded  as  Sir  John  Macdonald  at  the  head  of  a  Tory 
Government,  with  Tory  colleagues,  did  not  appear  reasonable. 
Then,  there  was  the  further  conviction  that  as  both  political 
parties  had  coalesced  for  the  purpose  of  accomplishing  Con- 
federation, it  was  not,  to  say  the  least  of  it,  unreasonable  that 
the  coalition  should  be  continued  until  Confederation  was 
fairly  launched.  "  What  right,"  it  was  asked,  "  had  one  party 
more  than  the  other  to  assume  the  reins  of  office,  and  to 
say  that  under  it  a  new  nation  was  to  be  organized  ?  Had 
George  Brown  remained  in  the  Government,  and  had  Sir 
John  Macdonald  been  preferred  to  him  as  the  first  Prem- 
ier, he  might  have  good  ground  for  complaint.  As  it  was,  he 
should  have  acquiesced  in  the  action  of  his  friends  who  had 
remained  in  the  Government." 

No  doubt,  Sir  John  Macdonald's  appeal  for  the  confidence 
of  both  parties  was  one  of  those  adroit  moves  for  the  reten- 
tion of  office  so  characteristic  of  the  honorable  gentleman.    A 
0 


r 


i 


226 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


lis 


ill 


purely  Toiy  Government  would  cei'tainly  have  been  defeated 
in  the  general  election  of  18G7.  The  appeal  for  a  "  fair  trial " 
on  the  ground  that  party  issues  had  been  obliterated,  that  we 
were  beginning  Confederation,  as  Mr.  MacDougall  said,  with  a 
tabula  rasa — a  clean  slate — waa  very  insidioua  It  enlisted 
the  support  of  the  Tory  party  through  Sir  John  Macdonald's 
personality  as  a  leader,  and  it  enlisted  the  support  of  many 
Reformers,  not  so  much  because  of  the  Liberals  in  his  Govern- 
ment, but  because  of  their  anxiety  not  in  the  slightest  degree 
to  endanger  Confederation. 

The  position  in  which  the  Liberals  as  a  party  found  them- 
selves in  1867  was  most  unfortunate,  and  the  more  it  is  ex- 
amined, the  more  clearly  does  the  soundness  of  Mr.  Macken- 
zie's advice  in  1864  appear.  Had  they  refused  to  coalesce 
with  Sir  John  Macdonald,  and  had  they  given  his  Govern- 
ment, as  Mr.  Mackenzie  advised,  an  outside  support,  simply, 
they  would  have  avoided  those  entangling  alliances,  which 
resulted  in  Mr.  Brown's  retirement  from  the  Government  in 
1865,  and  also  that  division  of  opinion  in  their  ranka  caused 
by  the  action  of  Messrs.  Rowland  and  MacDougall. 

Had  Sir  John  Macdonald  only  acted  with  the  independence 
and  frankness  of  a  British  statesman,  he  would  have  said  to 
the  Governor-General  in  1864,  when  defeated  in  the  House : 
I  am  opposed  to  the  union  of  the  Provinces.  I  have  lost 
control  of  the  House.  Here  is  my  resignation.  Send  for  Mr. 
Brown  to  form  a  new  Government. 

This  vantage  ground  was,  however,  lost,  in  spite  of  Mr. 
Mackenzie's  advice  to  the  contrary.  And  when  the  elections 
of  1867  came  on,  there  was  only  one  of  two  courses  open  to 
the  Liberal  party — either  to  oppose  the  Government  out  and 
out,  or  to  go  to  the  elections  without  any  distinctive  political 


i 


THE  NEW  DOMIXIOX. 


Mr. 

ktioua 

jn  to 

and 

litical 


cry,  leavinfv  to  the  future  the  reorganization  of  the  party,  on 
such  issues  avS  mio-lit  arise  in  the  natural  course  of  events. 

To  a  man  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  temperament,  the  conduct  oi" 
Messrs.  MacDouo'all  and  Howhind  was  most  objectionable,  and 
sooner  than  appear  to  approve  of  their  course,  he  took  issue 
with  them  boldly  on  party  grounds. 

Ill  his  address  to  the  electors  of  Lambton,  in  the  general 
election  of  18G7,  he  said  :  "  I  reluctantly  agreed  that  the  two 
great  political  parties  should  form  a  Government  to  carry  the 
Confederation  measure,  with  the  express  understanding  that 
the  passage  of  the  bill  should  witness  the  termination  of  the 
coalition  and  that  no  party  measures  likely  to  divide  us  should 
in  the  meantime  be  introduced.  The  members  of  that  Gov- 
ernment not  only  violated  the  latter  part  of  the  agreement 
by  the  introduction  of  their  financial  scheme  and  their  tariff 
arrangements  during  last  session,  but  they  seek  to  perpetuate 
a  coalition  for  no  other  purpose  than  the  retention  of  office. 
"Under  such  a  coalition  we  shall  be  compelled  to  witness  ex- 
travagance in  all  our  departments,  the  most  unblushing  cor- 
ruption in  Parliament,  and  a  low  state  of  public  morality  in 
high  places,  which  must  be  communicated  more  or  less  to  all 
classes.  I  shall  therefore  endeavor,  if  elected,  to  prevent  the 
continued  existence  of  a  Government  so  constituted.  Muc- 
donald  and  Cartier  were  the  leading  spirits  of  the  former 
corrupt  coalition  Government ;  they  are  masters  of  the  present 
one,  and  we  must  expect  a  repetition  of  former  evil  practices. 
The  accession  to  the  Tory  ranks  of  MacDougall  and  Howland 
does  not  change  the  prospects ;  as  men  who  would  com- 
mit such  an  act  of  treachery  to  their  own  friends  are  not 
likely  to  stand  in  the  way  of  their  leaders  in  other  mat- 
ters." 

This  was  practically  the  key-note  of  the  campaign.     The 


ii 


228 


LIFE  OF  TUB  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Lilierals  were  called  upon  to  oppose  the  Government  because 
it  was  a  coalition,  on  the  ground  that  coalitions  wei'O  dauoer- 
ous;   that  this   coalition    was   founded  on    treachery  to  the 
Liberal  party;  that  its  ruling  spirits  were  Tories,  in  whom 
they   could    have   no   conlidcnce,   and   that   their    continua- 
tion in  office  could  only  result  in  injury  to  the  country.     On 
this  platform  Mr.    Mackenzie   made    a   successful    appeal  to 
his  old  constituents  in   Lambton    for   sui)port.      His  stand- 
ing in  Parliament,  his  extraordinary  al)ility  as  a  debater,  the 
great  confidence  with  which  his  judgment  was  regarded  in  all 
political  matters,  gave  him  a  tremendous  advantage  over  his 
opponents.     Mr.  j\lacDougall,  who  had  received  such  a   cas- 
tigation  at  his  hands,  at  the  great  Convention,  endeavored  to 
turn  the  tide  of  public  opinion  against  him  by  holding  meet- 
ings in  his  constituency ;  but  to  no  pin'i)ose.     Mr.  Mackenzie's 
position  was  impregnable,  and  the  splendid  courage  with  which 
he  defended  it  added  greatly  to  his  reputation.     He  w^as  then, 
physically  and  mentally,  at  his  zenith,  and  the  enthusiasm 
which  he  evoked  made  the  campaign  of  18G7  one  long  to  be 
remembered  by  the  electors  of  Lambton. 

The  forensic  qualities  of  the  two  great  rivals  for  public  favor 
are  worthy  of  a  moment's  notice.  Mr.  MacDougall  was  a  man 
of  good  presence,  large  physique,  with  a  pleasant  voice  and 
easy  manner.  His  stylo  was  calm  and  ordinarily  judicial; 
his  language  well  chosen,  pointed  and  clear.  He  was,  how- 
ever, wanting  in  personal  magnetism,  in  humor,  and  in  that 
enthusiasm  so  essential  in  popular  debate.  He  was  well  in- 
formed— few  men  better — in  the  political  history  of  the  times ; 
liad  a  long  experience  as  a  journalist,  and  had  shown  consider- 
able aptitude  for  public  atl'airs.  For  many  years  he  was  in 
the  first  ranks  of  ]Mn-liamentary  debi<ter8,  and  his  position  in 
the  Government  naturally  added  weight  to  his  utterances.    As 


THE  NEW  DOMINION. 


229 


to  his  abilit}^  tlieiv  can  be  no  doubt.  Ho  was  a  man  far  above 
the  average  in  natural  endowment,  who,  by  his  long  experi- 
ence on  the  platform,  had  acquired  a  literary  finish  quite  per- 
ceptible in  all  his  speeches;  and  when  he  appeared  in  Lamb- 
ton  to  oppose  Mr.  Mackenzie,  there  was  exultation  in  the  Tory 
camp  from  one  end  of  Canada  to  the  other. 

All  these  qualities,  however,  availed  nothing ;  for  what  Mr. 
Mackenzie  may  have  wanted  in  the  easy  rhxthm  of  his  sen- 
tences, he  more  than  made  up  by  the  use  of  incisive  Saxon, 
which  went  directly  to  the  convictions  of  the  people.  He  ar- 
raigned Mr.  MacDougall  for  the  desertion  of  his  party,  for  his 
fondness  for  office,  for  his  alliance  with  Sir  John  Macdonald, 
['or  his  disloyalty  to  his  leader,  Mr.  Brown,  for  his  support  of 
Mr.  Gait's  financial  blundering,  for  his  insincerity  in  the 
advocacy  of  Liberal  principles,  and,  by  quotations  from  his 
t'oriner  speeches,  and  from  his  editorials,  completely  destroyed 
the  force  of  his  attack.  Mr.  MacDougall's  appeal  for  the  loyal 
support  of  the  Liberals,  inasmuch  as  he  was  still  a  Liberal, 
was  met  by  the  statement  "that  loyalty  to  a  })arty  should  not 
ri  iiuire  us  to  bow  down  to  its  man-servant,  its  maid-servant, 
its  ox,  or  its  yss."  His  ap})eal  for  a  fair  trial  for  the  new  Gov- 
eriinient  was  met  by  the  statement  that  a  Government  founded 
on  treachery  was  not  entitled  to  a  moments  trial.  It  was 
Sfll'-condennu'd  in  its  organization.  To  all  of  Mr.  MacDougall's 
urguuu'nts,  Mr.  Mackenzie  made  answer  in  terms  .so  conclusive, 
in  language  so  clear,  and  in  a  manni'r  so  transpai-ently  honest, 
us  to  completely  overwhelm  his  opponents.  No  Benjamite 
ever  used  the  sling  and  stone  with  better  ellect  than  ^fr.  Mac- 
kenzie. There  was  no  circundocution  in  his  argument.  Every 
Word  had  its  place.  His  voice  was  clear  and  penetrating,  aiid 
I  lis  (pniint  humor,  sometimes  strengthened  by  an  apt  anecdote, 
uiade  him  a  dreaded  antagonist. 


Jsvj 


Mi^ 


'TF 


; 

i       ! 

230 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Mr.  MacDougjill's  defeat  on  the  platform  simply  meant  Mr. 
Mackenzie's  election,  for  Lambton.  The  principal  athlete  of 
the  coalition  party  had  grappled  with  him  in  the  presence  of 
friends  and  foes  and  had  been  worsted.  It  was  only  six  years 
since  he  laid  aside  the  mallet  and  the  chisel  for  political  life, 
and  already  his  enemies  flee  before  him.  His  majority  of 
688  over  his  opponent,  Mr.  Vidal,  shows  how  completely  he 
liad  won  the  confidence  of  his  constituents. 

The  dual  character  of  the  general  election  of  18G7  added 
very  much  to  the  obliteration  of  party  lines.  Mr.  Sandfield 
Macdonald,  who  was  chosen  Premier  for  Ontario,  and  who  had 
organized  his  Government  on  the  coalition  principle,  united 
his  influence  with  the  Liberal  supporters  of  the  Dominion 
Government  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  the  country.  As  a 
Liberal,  he  had  less  claim  upon  the  parf^y  than  either  Mr. 
Rowland  or  Mr.  MacDougall ;  for  he  had  steadily  opposed  the 
wishes  of  Ontario  both  in  power  and  out  of  it.  His  support 
of  Mr.  Scott's  Separate  School  Bill,  however,  which  was  passed 
in  1863,  during  his  Premiership,  won  for  him  the  confidence 
of  many  Roman  Catholics  ;  while  the  simple  fact  that  he  was 
chosen  by  Sir  John  Macdonald  as  first  Premier  of  Ontario,  and 
had  called  to  his  Government  such  well  known  Tories  as  Mr. 
M.  C.  Cameron  and  Mr.  John  Carling,  secured  for  him  the  con- 
fidence of  the  Conservative  party. 

There  was  no  circumstance  in  corniection  with  the  whole 
campaign  that  so  greatly  annoy eil  the  Liberals  as  the  ap- 
pointment of  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald  Premier,  and  the  for- 
mation of  a  coalition  Government,  under  him.  Ontario  had 
for  many  years  supported  the  Liberal  party.  To  foist  upon 
the  Dominion  the  coalition  Government,  was  bad  enough,  but 
to  ask  the  Liberal  party  to  support  a  coalition  in  Ontario,  was 
intolerable. 


i 


THE  NEW  DOMINION. 


231 


After  a  campaign  extending  almost  into  autumn,  the  feeling 
of  the  countiy  with  regard  to  the  new  Government  was  ascer- 
tained. Nova  Scotia,  led  by  the  Hon.  Joseph  Howe,  returned 
only  one  supporter  of  the  administration — Dr.  Tupper.  In 
New  Brunswick,  twelve  seats  out  of  the  lifteen  were  won  by 
the  administration.  In  Quebec,  only  twelve  anti-coalition- 
ists were  returned ;  and  in  Ontario  the  Government's  majority 
was  unexpectedly  large.  The  defeat  of  Mr.  Archibald,  Secre- 
tary of  State,  and  Mr.  Chapais,  Minister  of  Agriculture,  was 
but  a  trifling  compensation  for  the  losses  suffered  by  the 
Liberal  party.  Mr.  Brown,  who  could  have  had  an  easy  seat, 
was  pitted  against  Mr.  Gibbs,  of  South  Ontario,  and  as  a 
result  of  his  defeat  practically  retired  from  active  political 
service. 

In  the  local  elections,  the  results  were  somewhat  similar. 
Nova  Scotia  returned  thirty-six  anti-unionists  to  a  House 
composed  of  thirty-eight  members.  New  Brunswick  sup- 
ported the  Government  in  the  local  election  as  well  as  in  the 
Dominion  election,  and  so  did  Ontario  and  Quebec.  The  rep- 
resentation of  the  people  in  their  different  Parliaments  wtxs 
now  completed,  and  the  new  constitution  adopted  by  the 
country  was  soon  to  have  a  trial. 


rliole 
ap- 
for- 
hatl 


1,  was 


CHAPTER  XVIIL 


MEETING   OF   THE    FIRST   PAULJAMENT   OF   CANADA. 

Mr.  Joseph  Howe  and  Confederation — The  Noith-West  Territories — Intercol- 
onial Railway— Retirement  of  Mr.  Gait — The  Country  to  be  Fortified — 
Assassination  of  Mr.  McGee — Conservative  Tendencies  of  the  Government. 

Y  the  sovereign  voice  of  the  people  of  Canada  ex- 
pressed at  the  polls,  Confederation  was  at  length 
^\^^^^  ratified,  and  the  advent  of  a  new  nation,  with  a 
V!^A  population  of  about  four  millions,  was  inaugurated. 
^pk^'  In  one  instance  only  was  the  voice  of  the  agitator 
stronger  than  the  demand  for  a  larger  national  life. 
What  was  expected  from  the  representatives  of  the  people, 
and  what  v/as  to  be  the  spirit  with  which  Parliament  should 
address  itself  to  the  new  problems  necessarily  arising  under 
the  British  North  America  Act,  were  well  expressed  by  the 
late  W.  A.  Foster  in  an  address  on  "  Our  New  Nationality," 
published  in  1871:  "Let  but  our  statesmen  do  their  duty, 
with  the  consciousness  that  all  the  elements  which  constitute 
greatness  are  now  awaiting  a  closei*  combination ;  that  all 
the  requirements  of  a  higher  national  life  are  here  available 
for  use ;  that  nations  do  not  spring,  Minerva-like,  into  exist- 
ence ;  that  strength  and  weakness  are  relative  terms,  a  few 
not  b«ing  necessarily  weak  because  they  are  few,  nor  a  mul- 
titude necessarily  strong  because  they  are  many;  that  hes- 
itating, doubting,    fearing,  whining  over  supposed   or  even 

actual   weakness,  and   conjuring  up  possible  dangers,  is  not 

232 


1 


M 


MEETING  OF  THE  FIRST  PARLIAMENT. 


•233 


the  true  way  to  strengthen  the  foundations  of  our  Domin- 
ion, or  to  give  confidence  to  its  continuance.  Let  each  of 
us  have  faith  in  the  rest,  and  cultivate  a  broad  feeling  of 
regard  for  mutual  welfare,  as  being  those  who  are  build- 
ing up  a  fabric  that  is  destined  to  endure.  Thus  stimu- 
lated and  thus  strengthened  by  a  common  belief  in  a  glori- 
ous future,  and  with  a  common  watchword  to  give  unity  to 
thought  and  power  to  endeavor,  wo  shall  attain  the  fruition 
of  our  cherished  hopes,  and  give  our  beloved  country  a 
proud  position  among  the  nations  of  the  earth." 

It  would  be  strange,  indeed,  if  the  men  'composing  the 
first  Parliament  of  Canada  were  not  deeply  impressed  with 
the  responsibilities  resting  upon  them.  Many  of  them  had 
served  their  country  in  other  Assemblies,  and  had  consider- 
able experience  of  the  bitterness  and  hate  of  sectional  strife. 
To  them,  the  higher  plane  of  Dominion  politics  and  the  wider 
arena  on  which  they  had  entered  nuist  have  been  a  great 
relief.  To  others,  who  saw  in  Confederation  the  fruition  of 
many  years  of  labor  and  anxiety,  the  first  Parliament  must 
have  been  like  his  arrival  in  port  to  the  storm-tossed  mariner 
after  mouths  of  weary  struggle  with  wind  and  wave. 

Parliament  was  opened  on  the  Gth  of  November — Mr.  Jas. 
Cockburn,  Speaker.  His  Excellency,  after  congratulating  the 
members  present  on  the  position  they  occcupied  as  represent- 
ing a  new  Dominion,  pointed  out  some  of  the  duties  devolving 
upon  them  under  the  British  North  America  Act,  such  as  the 
assimilation  of  the  laws  relating  to  currency,  customs,  excise, 
the  ])0stal  service,  militia  service,  Indian  att'airs,  the  criminal 
law,  etc. 

While  the  address  was  under  discussion,  I^Ir.  Joseph  Howe 
made  a  fierce  onslaught  upon  Confederation,  declaring  his 
belief  that  it  would   be   a   failure,   that  Nova   Scotia   would 


.::;.;;sqHHi 


liii  U 


234 


LIFH;  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


never  consent  to  it,  and  that  the  Imperial  Parliament  took 
very  little  interest  in  Canadian  affairs,  one  way  or  the  otlier. 

Several  members  of  the  House  undertook  to  reply  to  Mr. 
Howe,  among  others,  Dr.  Tupper.  But  of  all  the  speeches 
delivered,  there  was  none  couched  in  such  friendly  terms,  or 
none  wliich  shewed  as  broad  a  statesmanship,  as  the  speech 
delivered  by  Mr.  Mackenzie.  Among  other  things,  he  said : 
"  He  felt  that  it  devolved  particularly  on  the  people  of  Ontario 
to  act  the  part  of  hosts  towards  her  Lower  Province  brethren, 
and  to  extend  to  them  that  just  consideration  which  was 
most  likely  to  cement  their  future  relations,  and  to  produce 
that  spirit  of  harmony  which  ought  to  prevail  among  them, 
if  they  were  to  live  together  and  prosper  as  a  nation." 

Evidently  Mr.  Mackenzie  felt  from  the  outset  that  Mr, 
Howe,  who  had  fought  for  Responsible  Government,  had  some 
ground  for  complaint  because  the  Quebec  Resolutions,  on 
which  Confederation  was  founded,  were  not  submitted  to  the 
people,  and  as  an  ardent  supporter  of  the  Confederation  Act, 
he  was  most  anxious  to  see  it  accepted  by  the  people  of  Nova 
Scotia. 

Two  questions  of  unusual  magnitude  and  importance  en- 
gaged the  attention  of  the  first  Canadian  Parliament.  One 
was  the  acquisition  of  the  North- West  Territories,  and  the 
other  the  construction  of  the  Intercolonial  Railroad.  With 
regard  to  the  former,  almost  every  obstacle  in  the  way  had 
been  removed  before  Mr.  Brown  retired  from  the  Government, 
in  18G5.  There  remained  now  but  the  settlement  of  details, 
requiring  ordinary  business  attention.  A  Confederation  that 
did  not  embrace  the  Territories  lying  to  the  west  of  us  would 
be  a  poor  representative  of  the  British  empire  on  this  contin- 
ent, and  would  afford  a  very  limited  area  for  the  development 
of  tlie  latent  powers  of  the  people.     Any  person  aspiring  to 


I 


1' 


MEETIXG  OF  THE  FIRST  PARLIAMENT, 


235 


m^m  _ 

*f 

q 


j^^^X^   L4  /WM  /'^ 


OaaJm 


f 


^Vtl 


y 


('Fac-m)iile  of  Hon.  (rco.  Ih'owas  lumd-wriiinq.) 


ii 


230 


LIFE  OF  THE  flOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Ill 


iiii 


statesmanship  certainly  misunrlerstood  his  mission  if  lie  liesi- 
tated  for  one  moment  in  endeavoring  to  extend  our  Canadian 
empire  westward. 

Mr.  MacDungall,  wlio  was  concerned  in  the  original  negotia- 
tions for  the  acquisition  by  Canada  of  the  North- West 
Territories,  introduced  the  resolutions  on  which  it  was  pro- 
posed to  form  a  hill  for  the  consideration  of  Parliament. 
V/^iuh  the  exception  of  the  objections  taken  by  Mr.  Howe  and 
some  others  not  in  full  sympathy  with  Confederation,  the 
resolutions  met  with  universal  favor.  Speaking  of  these  reso- 
lutions, Mr.  Mackenzie  said  that  "  in  his  opinion,  it  was  neces- 
sary for  the  consolidation  of  British  power  on  this  continent, 
that  we  should  take  a  firm  hold  of  the  vast  country  that  lay 
t  J  the  west  of  Canada.  He  had  an  aversion  to  the  Republi- 
ean  ii^stitutions  of  the  people  living  alongside  of  us,  and  he 
had  no  wish  to  see  this  country  absorbed  by  the  United 
States.  He  was  aware  of  the  grasping,  avaricious  spirit 
that  prevailed  in  the  United  States,  in  regard  to  the  acquisi- 
tion of  territory,  and  he  had  no  doubt  many  people  there 
were  anxious  to  lay  their  hands  on  the  rich  and  fertile 
regions  of  the  North-West.  He  looked  upon  the  acquisition 
of  this  territory  as  a  necessary  outlet  for  the  energies  of  our 
3'oung  men,  who  were  now  compelled,  in  consequence  of  the 
limited  field  for  settlement  offered  in  Canada,  to  seek  homes 
for  themselves  in  the  United  States.  He  believed  that  a 
large  portion  of  the  territory  would  open  a  wide  field  for 
settlement  to  emigrants,  and  become  a  valuable  addition  to 
the  territorial  possessions  of  the  Province.  He  demanded, 
however,  that  before  the  House  was  committed  to  the  details 
of  the  scheme,  Parliament  should  be  consulted."  This  was 
agreed  to  by  Mr.  MacDougall.  The  bill  was  finally  passed,  and 
the  Government  authorized  to  continue  negotiations  by  which 


■V  m 


MEETIXG  OF  THE  FIRST  PAliLIAMENT. 


2.37 


" 


'■: 


iill  tlio  territory  between  Ontario  and  British  Columbia — 
an  empire  in  it.st'lf — was  placed  under  the  control  of  the 
Dominion. 

The  other  great  measure,  relating  to  the  Intercolonial  Rail- 
way, was  part  of  the  oi'iginal  compact  entered  into  between 
the  Provinces,  when  the  Quebec  resolutions  were  agreed  upon. 
The  only  tlillerence  between  the  Opposition  and  the  Govern- 
ment was  with  respect  to  the  authority  ot'  Parliament  in 
determining  the  route  of  the  railway,  the  Opposition  holding 
by  the  sovereignty  of  Parliament  in  all  such  matters,  as 
against  the  claim  made  by  the  Government  to  determine  the 
route  without  reference  to  Parliament.  Unfortunately,  the 
Government  policy  prevailed,  and  a  circuitous  route,  of  com- 
paratively little  value  for  commercial  purposes,  was  adopteil. 

It  was  evidently  the  policy  of  the  Government  to  conciliate 
Quebec  at  the  expense  of  the  whole  Dominion ;  otherwise,  a 
route  much  shorter  would  have  lieen  adopted.  The  declara- 
tions that  Imperial  interests  had  to  be  considered  and  a  rail- 
way built  as  far  removed  as  possible  from  the  American 
frontier,  for  military  reasons,  was  a  mere  pretence.  In  later 
years,  no  such  policy  prevailed  with  regard  to  the  Canada 
Pacific  Railway,  although  Imperial  interests  were  as  great  in 
one  case  as  in  the  other.  The  fatal  consequences  of  tlie  action 
of  the  Government  ha\'e  become  very  apparent  in  recent  years. 
Not  only  have  the  people  of  Canada  paid  an  excessive  sum  for 
the  construction  of  the  road,  owiuff  to  its  ennfineerino-  ditlicul- 
ties  as  well  as  its  lenuth,  but  its  location  is  such  as  to  iiave 
rendered  the  construction  of  i)urely  connnercial  lines  between 
Montreal  and  the  sea  coast  absolutely  nece.s.sary.  .Some  of 
tlic.se  lines  have  been  liberally  subsidized  l)y  the  Go\ernment, 
as  their  construction  was  deemed  to  be  in  the  public  interest; 
and  as  a  conse(iuence  the  Intercolonial  lailet-i,  not  only  to  pay 


■J 

■'■A 

I 


wmmm 


m 


233 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


!    I 


^inii«» 


iiii!  liill 


interest  on  tlie  orioinal  investment,  but  even  to  pay  running 
expenses.  Had  Mr.  Mackenzie's  advice  been  taken,  millions 
would  have  been  saved  on  a  profitless  route  and  millions  more 
in  subsidies  to  other  routes  that  were  considered  necessary  L'or 
commercial  purposes. 

On  the  retirement  of  Mr.  Gait,  Minister  of  Finance,  the 
Hon.  John  Kose  was  appointed  to  the  vacancy.  And  on  the 
21st  of  December  the  House  adjourned  until  the  6th  of  March, 
in  the  following  year. 

Speaking  of  the  first  Parliament  of  Canada,  Mr.  Dent,  in  his 
history  of  the  last  forty  3'^ears,  says :  "  The  tone  of  Parliament 
perceptibly  improved.  Even  the  discontented  members  from 
Nova  Scotia  treated  questions  as  they  arose,  on  their  merits, 
and  shewed  no  disposition  to  monopolize  the  debates  by  long 
discourses  on  the  injustice  to  which  their  Province  had,  as 
they  believed,  been  subjected.  The  old  obstructive  policy 
was  for  the  time  numbered  among  the  things  of  the  past, 
and  Parliament  seemed  to  be  actuated  by  an  honest  desire  to 
test  the  working  qualities  of  our  new  constitution." 

On  the  re-assembly  of  Parliament,  the  Militia  Bill  and  the 
other  measures  foreshadowed  in  the  address  were  taken  up 
and  disposed  of,  Mr.  Mackenzie  strongly  objecting  to  the 
enormous  expenditure  which  the  Militia  Bill  involved,  and  the 
utter  futility  of  attempting  to  provide  for  the  defence  of 
Canada  by  fortifications  at  Montreal  and  elsewhere,  which 
would  probably  cost  them  millions  of  money.  He  took  the 
ground  that  there  was  nothing  in  our  relations  with  the 
United  States  to  justify  the  expenditure  of  so  much  money, 
and  that  in  the  case  of  war,  should  it  unfortunately  occur,  our 
main  security  would  be  the  protection  of  the  Empire. 

In  the  session  of  1868  the  necessity  of  maintaining  the  in- 
dependence of  Parliament  was  ur^ed  upon  the  House 


1 


I'gea  upon 


^y 


MEETING  OF  THE  FIRST  FARLIAMEXT. 


239 


to 


Liberal  party.  Several  protests  were  made  against  the  occu- 
pation of  seats  in  tlie  House  of  Commons  by  members  liold- 
ing  seats  in  the  Provincial  Legislature.  A  formal  motion  by 
Mr.  Bkike  declaring  sheriffs,  registrars  and  other  persons  hold- 
ing any  emplo^'ment  or  protit  under  the  Crown,  in  Canada  or 
any  of  the  Provinces,  ineligible  to  sit  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons, was  rejected  by  a  large  majority,  notwithstanding  the 
remonstrance  of  the  Liberals.  And  thus,  unfortunately,  the 
House  of  Commons  showed  a  disposition  to  follow  thcjse 
vicious  tendencies,  with  regard  to  the  appointment  to  public 
offices,  which  had  created  so  much  irritation  in  olden  times  in 
Upper  Canada. 

During  the  session  of  18G8  a  circumstance  occurred  which 
strongly  showed  Mr.  Mackenzie's  tenderness  of  heart,  not- 
withstanding the  \'igorous  blows  which  he  was  disposed  to 
deal  to  an  opponent.  Mr.  Thos.  D'Arcy  McGee,  who,  in  spite 
of  his  political  vacillation,  had  acquired  great  prominence 
in  the  country  on  account  of  his  geniality  and  his  won- 
derful eloquence,  was  basely  assassinated  on  the  7th  of  April 
while  returning  to  his  lodgings  after  a  long  session  of  the 
House.  On  the  evening  before  his  death,  the  House  had 
been  discussing  a  resolution  moved  by  Dr.  Parker,  demand- 
ing that  Dr.  Tupper,  who  had  gone  to  England  to  neutral- 
ize Mr.  Howe's  opposition  to  Confederation,  should  be  re- 
called. Both  Mr.  McGee  and  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  taken  part 
in  this  discussion.  Mr.  McGee  vindicated  the  Government 
for  its  action  in  sending  Dr.  Tupper  to  England,  and  ex- 
pressed the  hope  that  time  would  heal  the  existing  irritation 
between  Nova  Scotia  and  the  Dominion,  and  that  by  and 
bye  the  constitution  of  this  Dominion  would  be  as  clier- 
ished  in  the  hearts  of  the  people  of  all  its  Provinces  as  the 
British  constitution  itself.     Mr.  Mackenzie,  replying  to  Mr. 


240 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOy.  A  LEX  AX  DE 11  MACKEXZIE. 


McGoc,  said  that  "  Dr.  Tapper's  niis.sion  to  Enf;-lan(l  was  ex- 
ceedingly distasteful  to  Nova  Scotia,  and  that  if  his  with- 
drawal would  have  a  conciliatory  vJ'oct,  it  should  be  acted 
on  at  once.  He  urged  that  a  policy  of  conciliation  should 
pervade  the  whole  proceedings  of  Parliament  and  the  lan- 
guage of  all  its  members,  lie  was  quite  sure  that  in  the 
course  of  a  very  few  years  we  would  be  able  so  to  harmonize 
all  interests  in  our  commercial  policy  and  every  other  por- 
tion of  our  national  policy,  as  to  promote  the  prosperity  of 
Nova  Scotia." 

Little  did  the  members  expect  that  Mr.  McGee's  appeal  for 
the  maintenance  of  the  Union,  supported  by  Mr.  Mackenzie's 
demand  for  a  conciliatory  policy  towards  Nova  Scotia,  was 
the  last  appeal  they  would  hear  from  his  eloquent  lips.  When 
the  House  assembled  next  daj?^,  Sir  John  Macdonald  moved 
an  adjournment  for  one  week  out  of  respect  to  the  memory 
of  the  fallen  statesman.  In  speaking  of  his  deceased  col- 
league, Sir  John  described  him  as  "  a  man  of  the  kindest  and 
most  generous  impulses — a  man  whose  hand  was  open  to 
every  one,  whose  heart  was  made  for  friendship  and  whose 
enmities  were  written  in  water — a  man  with  the  simplicity 
of  a  child.  He  might  have  lived  a  long  and  respected  life 
had  he  chosen  the  easy  path  of  popularity  rather  than  the 
stern  one  of  duty.  He  luxd  lived  a  short  life  respected  and 
beloved,  and  died  a  heroic  death,  a  martyr  to  the  cause  of 
his  country.  He  has  gone  from  us,  and  it  will  be  long  ere 
we  see  his  like  again,  long  ere  we  find  such  a  happy  mixture 
of  eloquence,  wisdom  and  impulse."  As  representing  the 
Opposition,  Mr.  Mackenzie  said,  in  rising  to  second  the  mo- 
tion :  "  I  tind  it  almost  impossible  to  proceed.  But  last  nii-ht 
we  weio  all  charmed  with  the  eloquence  of  our  departed 
friend   who  is  now    numbered    with    our  honored  dead,  and 


W.       ' 


! 


.   MEETING  OF  THE  FIRST  PARLIAMENT, 


TAX 


- 


ncme  of  us  dreamed  when  we  separated  last  that  we  should 
so  very  soon  be  called  in  this  way  to  record  our  affection  for 
him.  It  was  my  own  lot  for  many  years  to  work  in  poli- 
tical harmony  with  him,  and  it  was  my  lot  sometimes  to 
oppose  him.  But  throuf^h  all  the  vicissitudes  of  political 
warfare  we  ever  found  him  possess  that  generous  disposition 
characteristic  of  the  man  and  his  country,  and  it  will  be 
long,  as  the  leader  of  the  Government  has  said,  before  we 
can  see  his  like  amongst  us.  I  think  there  can  be  no  doubt 
he  has  fallen  a  victim  to  the  noble  and  patriotic  course 
which  he  has  pursued  in  this  country  with  regard  to  the  re- 
lations between  his  native  land  and  the  Empire,  and  I  can 
only  hope  that  the  efforts  to  be  made  by  the  Government 
will  lead  to  the  discovery  that  to  an  alien  hand  is  due  the 
sorrow  that  now  clouds  not  only  this  House,  but  the  whole 
coinmunity." 

In  the  course  of  the  session,  an  interesting  debate  sprang  up 
on  a  motion  by  Mr.  Abbott  for  closing  the  Carillon  and  Gren- 
ville  canals  on  Sunday.  Objection  was  taken  to  this  motion 
by  many  members  of  the  House,  notably  by  Wm.  MacDougall 
and  J.  S.  Macdonald.  Mr.  Mackenzie's  early  Scotch  training 
and  his  well-known  inflexibility  of  purpose  on  all  moral  and 
religious  questions  here  asserted  themselves.  In  reply  to  the 
arguments  in  favor  of  Sunday  traffic  on  the  canals,  he  urged 
with  great  earnestness  that  "  the  observance  of  the  Sabbath 
day  was  a  duty  incumbent  on  tliem  as  a  Christian  pcojile,  and 
that  they  as  legislators  ought  to  do  their  duty  in  promoting 
che  observance  of  the  Sabbath.  No  good  ever  came  of  Sab- 
bath breaking,  whether  by  individuals  or  communities.  He 
believed  that  the  observance  of  the  Sabbath  was  in  the  in- 
terests of  all  legitimate  labor,  and  that  public  servants  were 
entitled  to  rest  on  that  day.     And  as  many  of  them  desired 


1     1  ' 

1 

242 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


to  observe  the  SaLLath  day  properly,  tlicy  should  not  be  pre- 
vented from  so  doing." 

The  session  closed  on  22nd  of  May,  and  from  the  tendency 
of  legislation  and  the  policy  of  the  Government,  it  was  quite 
evident  that  it  ceased  to  be  a  coalition,  and  that  Sir  John  Mac- 
donald  had  won  over  to  his  way  of  thinking  his  Liberal  col- 
leagues for  Ontario  and  the  Maritime  Provinces.  The  expen- 
sive quixotic  scheme  for  reorganizing  the  militia  and  fortifying 
the  country  could  never  have  originated  except  with  a  Tory 
Government;  for  the  scheme,  as  pointed  out  by  Mr.  Mackenzie, 
placed  a  premium  upon  officialism  rather  than  on  loyal  service 
in  the  ranks ;  and  although  it  was,  with  very  slight  modilica- 
tion,  adopted  by  the  House,  the  vigorous  manner  in  which  it 
was  opposed  by  the  Liberals  led  to  its  ultimate  abandonment. 

The  action  of  the  Government  with  respect  to  the  selection 
of  a  route  for  the  Intercolonial  Railway,  equally  savored  of 
Tory  tactics.  As  we  have  already  pointed  out,  political  ex- 
igencies were  allowed  to  prevail  as  against  the  public  interest 
and  the  commercial  advantages  of  the  country. 

In  the  management  of  public  works,  in  the  independence  of 
Parliament,  and  in  regard  to  many  of  the  changes  made  in  the 
i;arift',  the  impress  of  Conservative  policy  was  quite  unmistak- 
able, and  whether  the  coalition  of  18G-1  may  be  regarded  as 
having  terminated  on  the  30th  of  June,  18G7,  by  agreement,  as 
Mr.  Ilowland  said  it  had,  it  is  quite  certain  that,  as  u  matter 
of  fact,  the  Heform  element  in  the  Govermnent  in  18G8  liad 
ceased  to  exert  any  inlluencc  on  the  policy  of  the  country.  To 
Mr.  Mackenzie,  the  session  was  one  of  unusual  distinction. 
Although  not  formally  appointed  leader  of  the  Opposition,  ho 
was  by  universal  consent  awarded  the  leader's  place  and  ex 
pected  to  discharge  the  leader's  duties.  The  Liberal  membcis 
from  Quebec,  such  as  Messrs.  Ilolton,  Dorioii  and  Huntington, 


MEETI^'G  OF  THE  FIRST  PARLIAMEXT. 


243 


■ncG  of 
lu  tho 
1  stak- 
ed as 
lont,  as 
111  litter 
IS  liail 

y.  To 

H'tion. 
,ioii,  lie 
lul  ex 
cmbcis 

iniXton, 


altliough  mon  of  great  parliamentary  experience  and  ability, 
were  evidently  not  disposed,  even  were  it  desirable,  to  under- 
take the  burdens  of  leadersliip,  Mr.  Blake's  professional 
duties,  and  his  great  interest  in  the  Legislative  Assembly  of 
Ontario,  prevented  that  regular  attendance  in  the  House  of 
Commons  which  w^ould  be  necessary  in  the  case  of  a  leader. 
It  was  indispensable  that  some  one  should  speak  for  the  party 
in  Opposition,  and  so  by  an  acquiescence  as  substantial  as  could 
be  expressed  in  any  formal  vote,  all  concurred  n  giving  Mr. 
Mackenzie  this  place.  His  power  as  a  debater  was  universally 
admitted.  His  fearlessness  in  defending  his  own  views,  his 
frankness  and  fairness  in  critici/.iiig  his  opponents,  his 
wonderful  grasp  of  details,  combined  with  a  memory  that 
never  failed  him,  entitled  him  to  the  honor;  and  right  well 
did  he  acquit  himself,  as  the  debates  of  Parliament  show. 
Indeed  it  is  doubtful  if  there  was  a  sinorle  member  in  the 
House  or  in  the  Government  so  well  informed  in  every  matter 
submitted  to  the  House  as  Mr.  Mackenzie  was.  Certain  it  is 
that  no  member  of  the  House  could  devote  himself  with 
greater  diligence  to  his  parliamentary  duties  then  he  did,  and 
it  was  quite  apparent  that  no  member  was  more  anxious  to 
give  Confederation  a  fair  and  honest  trial. 


/^ 


ilti 


i|il 


I 

'4 


CHAPTER  XIX. 


POLICY   OF   THE   LIBERALS    ASSERTED. 

Independence  of  Parliament — Crovernor  General's  Salary — Reciprocity  with 
the  United  States — "  Better  Terms  "  with  Nova  Scotia— Mr.  Howe  enters 
the  Governmenl — Changes  in  the  Cabinet — Mr.  Maolienzie  as  Leader. 

HE  line  of  cleavage  between  the  Government  and 
the  Opposition  was  pretty  distinctly  drawn  during 
the  session  of  1867-8.  The  session  of  1869  left  no 
room  for  doubt  as  to  the  existence  of  two  political 
parties  in  the  Dominion  of  Canada.  That  there  is 
in  the  political  as  in  the  natural  world  a  duality  of 
force  is  strikingly  apparent.  By  some  occult  law  of  nature, 
the  citizens  of  every  state  divide  themselves  at  least  into  two 
camps.  liord  Elgin  -(aid  "  that  where  there  was  little,  if  any- 
thing, of  public  principle  to  divide  men,  political  parties  would 
sliape  themselves  under  the  influence  of  circumstances,  and 
have  a  great  variety  of  ail'ections  or  antipathies,  national, 
sectarian  and  personal."  In  a  country  like  Canada,  where 
there  were  so  many  interests  to  be  considered,  there  was  ample 
room  for  the  lonnation  of  two  parties  on  broad  hues.  If  they 
are  organised  on  any  other,  it  must  bo  due  either  to  the  de- 
pravity of  the  innk  and  file,  or  to  tlie  want  of  statesmanship 
in  the  leaders.  .No  doubt  great  firmness  and  integrity  are  re- 
vvith  provincial  and  sectarian  demands.  The 
I'ter  the  public  interests  for  political  suiijiort 

1  of  the  politician,  and  he  who  esteems  ollico 
2U 


quin^d  in  rlenli 
t*'inptation  to 
it*  the  besettiii 


'I 


POLICY  OF  THE  LIBERALS  ASSERTED. 


245 


of  greater  importance  than  the  good  of  the  country,  is  sure  to 
listen  to  the  voice  of  the  tempter. 

From  the  very  outset  of  his  career,  Mr.  Mackenzie  took  high 
ground  on  all  questions  of  political  morality.  To  be  inconsis- 
tent with  himself,  which  often  means  nothing  in  fact,  was 
something  he  very  much  dreaded ;  but  to  subordinate  the 
national  interests  to  the  demands  of  a  section,  or  to  wrong  the 
nation  in  order  to  pacify  a  class,  was  most  repugnant  to  his 
mind.  Party  government,  as  he  understood  it,  was  govern- 
ment by  the  people,  for  the  people,  and  through  the  people;  and 
his  speeches  and  votes  during  the  session  of  18G9  illustrated 
very  fully  the  sincerity  of  his  motives. 

The  great  principle  of  maintaining  the  independence  of  the 
House  of  Commons  was  a  question  of  policy  of  the  highest 
national  moment.  If  dual  representation,  which  was  possible 
under  the  Constitution,  were  allowed  to  prevail,  members  of 
the  Dominion  Parliament  would  find  themselves  unable  to  de- 
cide equitably  between  Provincial  and  Dominion  interests.  In 
the  natural  order  of  things,  questions  arise  in  which  the 
interests  of  the  Dominion  might  conflict  with  the  interests  of 
a  local  legislature.  The  holder  of  a  seat  in  both  Houses,  in 
such  cases,  was  not  an  independent  man  in  the  parliamentary 
sense  of  the  term,  as  he  was  practically  serving  two  masters. 
Early  in  the  session  of  18G9  a  bil'  introduced  by  Mr.  Mills  for 
the  abolition  of  Dual  Representation  came  to  a  vote,  and  with 
singular  unanimity  the  Government  of  the  day  and  their 
followers  voted  it  down.  To  allow  such  a  bill  to  pass  would 
compel  several  of  their  supporters  to  choose  between  the  Li'gis- 
lative  Assembly  of  the  Province  they  represented  and  the 
House  of  Commons — a  choice  which  in  all  reason  they  should 
have  been  obliged  to  make.  A  few  years  later,  when  to  impose 
such  a  choice  upon  members  of  the  House  of  Commons  was 


»:jT3MKK-.-::^t.-:;^Kf5i 


246 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


likely  to  embarrass  the  Liberal  Party,  a  similar  bill  was  intro- 
duced by  a  supjjorter  of  the  Government  and  carried  through 
the  House.  Mr.  Mackenzie's  defence  of  the  Constitution  in 
this  case,  even  where  the  principle  urged  affected  his  own  seat 
in  Parliament,  was  a  proof  of  his  unselfishness  and  his  loyalty 
to  principle. 

The  next  question  in  which  it  was  sought  to  vindicate  the 
supremacy  of  Parliament  was  on  a  motion  made  by  Mr.  Oliver 
of  Oxford  for  a  reduction  of  the  Governor-General's  salary 
from  £10,000  sterling  to  .*?32,000  per  annum.  When  the  ques- 
tion came  before  the  House,  Sir  John  Macdonald  proposed  an 
amendment  to  the  effect  "  that  it  was  undesirable  to  make  any 
alteration  in  the  British  North  America  Act  which  already 
fixed  the  salary  the  Governor-General  should  receive."  As 
the  British  North  America  Act  was  an  Imperial  Act  and  not 
subject  to  the  approval  of  Parliament,  it  was  contended  that 
to  accept  Sir  John  Macdon aid's  amendment,  would  be  to 
acquiesce  to  a  certain  extent  in  the  control  of  the  revenues  of 
the  Dominion  by  the  British  Government.  Mr.  Mackenzie 
opposed  this  view,  claiming  that  it  was  the  undoubted 
privilege  of  Parliament  to  fix  and  determine  the  amount  of 
all  salaries  and  expenditure  chargeable  upon  the  public  funds 
of  the  Dominion,  and  that  the  salary  of  the  Governor-General 
should  therefore  be  fixed  by  an  Act  of  the  Canadian  Parlia- 
ment. To  this  the  House  agreed  with  one  exception,  and 
the  last  vestige  of  an  lin})c'rial  tax  on  the  people  of  Can- 
ada by  the  Parliament  of  Great  Britain  was  removed.  What- 
ever salary  is  now  jtaid  the  Governor-General  as  the  represen- 
tative of  Her  Majesty  is  therefore  the  voluntary  gift  of  the 
people  of  Canada,  as  it  ought  to  be.  Subsequently,  by  a 
resolution  of  the  House,  the  matter  was  definitely  settled  and 
the  sum  of  £10,000  agreed  upon  as  a  reasonable  amount  on 


il 


POLICY  OF  THE  LIBERALS  ASSERTED. 


2J:7 


M'hicli  to  maintain  the  dignity  and  usefulness  of  the  Governor- 
General's  position. 

A  motion  introduced  by  Mr.  A.  A.  Dorion,  callini;  for  some 
measure  of  reciprocal  trade  with  the  United  States,  was  the 
occasion  of  a  vigorous  debate  on  the  attitude  which  Canada 
should  assume  towards  that  country,  and  our  trade  rela- 
tions generally.  The  mover  of  the  resolution  pointed  out  the 
great  advantages  to  Canada  from  the  treaty  of  '5-i,  and 
claimed  that  if  the  Government  would  only  open  negotiations 
with  the  authorities  at  Washington  in  all  probability  a  new 
treaty  could  be  obtained.  The  question,  it  was  alleged,  was 
one  deeply  affecting  our  agricultural  and  industrial  interests 
and  should  engage  the  immediate  attention  of  the  Government. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  attitude  on  this  question  was  a  vindication 
of  the  right  of  Canada  to  negotiate  her  own  conmiercial 
treaties  with  the  United  States.  It  was  also  among  the  first 
public  expressions  of  opinion  in  Parliament  that  we  had  at- 
tained to  our  majority,  and  should  conduct  ourselves  towards 
our  neighbors  with  that  self-respect  and  independence  which 
our  national  position  warranted.  "  He  had  for  his  own  part," 
he  said,  "  an  instinctive  repugnance  to  do  anything  like  soli- 
citing what  he  considered  only  a  fair  trade  relationship, 
^Ve  occupied,  in  that  respect,  a  position  as  independent  as 
the  people  of  the  United  States  did,  inasmuch  as  whatever 
arrangements  we  might  arrive  at  would  undoubtedly  be 
ratilied  by  treaty  by  the  Mother  Country.  We  were,  there- 
fore, in  a  position  to  deal  with  the  United  States  as  a  mere 
neighbor,  whose  trade  would  always  be  valuable  to  us,  while 
our  trade  would,  perhaps,  be  equal,  if  not  more  valuable,  to 
her.  He  had  no  doubt  that  in  the  course  of  a  few  years  the 
j>rotectionist  theories  which  now  prevailed  in  the  United 
States,  would,  with  the  mass  of  the  people,  lose  their  force, 


248 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


and  that  they  would  see  that  they  were  in  reality;  losing  a 
good  deal  by  that  system  by  which  they  fancied  they  could 
enrich  themselves ;  and  as  that  feeling  gained  ground,  there 
would  spring  up  a  desire  to  renew  trade  relations  that  exist- 
ed for  many  years  with  mutual  benefit  between  Canada  and 
the  United  States.  Under  these  circumstances  he  was  not 
willing  to  place  himself  in  the  position  of  a  supplicant.  He 
declared  himself  against  a  retaliatory  policy  as  one  that 
would  not  commend  itself  to  the  mind  of  any  statesman." 

The  views  expressed  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  commended  tliem- 
selves  to  both  sides  of  the  House,  for,  in  the  division  that  took 
place,  Mr.  Dorion's  motion  was  supported  by  only  nineteen 
members  in  a  tolerably  full  House. 

It  must  not  be  supposed  that,  though  Mr.  Mackenzie  took 
Bucli  an  independent  stand  with  respect  to  reciprocity,  he 
undervalued  the  trade  relations  of  Canada  with  the  United 
States.  He  believed  that  in  maintaining  the  dignity  of  the 
country,  its  position  would  be  strengthened  in  dealing  with 
the  question  whenever  the  opportunity  arose ;  that  to  under- 
rate our  own  standing  as  a  people,  or  to  appeal  to  Washington 
as  supplicants,  would  not  only  be  humiliating  from  a  national 
standpoint,  but  would  increase  the  demand  which  the  United 
States  would  make  for  more  than  a  quid  pro  quo.  To  be 
self-reliant,  without  bravado,  in  the  presence  of  our  neighbors, 
would  win  their  respect,  and  the  respect  of  the  Mother 
Country,  and  if  Canada  was  ever  to  be  worthy  of  recognition 
as  a  political  factor  in  the  settlement  of  difficulties  on  this 
continent,  it  could  only  attain  such  a  position  by  a  manly  con- 
fidence in  its  own  resources.  Statesmanship  and  subserviency 
were  not,  to  his  mind,  convertible  terms. 

The  attitude  of  Nova  Scotia  towards  Confederation  has  al- 
ready been  referred  to.     At  the  general  election  in  18G7,  Dr. 


POLICY  OF  THE  LIBERALS  ASS  Eli  TED. 


249 


Tupper  was  the  only  Unionist  elected  to  the  House  of  Com- 
jaons  from  that  Province.  The  opposition  to  Confederation 
was  directed,  mainly,  by  Mr.  Howe,  whose  influence  with  the 
people  of  his  native  Province  was  phenomenal.  One  is  at  a 
loss  to  understand  how  a  man  of  Mr.  Howe's  breadth  of  view 
on  all  public  questions  failed  to  see  the  advantages  to  the 
British  North  American  colonies  in  the  union  proposed  by  the 
Quebec  resolutions.  Mr.  Howe's  chief  objections  to  Confeder- 
ation were  that  it  was  premature,  and  that  in  the  present 
attitude  of  Great  Britain  towards  the  colonies,  we  were  ex- 
tending our  frontier  under  a  new  constitution,  without  any 
increase  in  our  facilities  for  self-defence,  but  particularly  that 
the  measure  had  been  passed  by  the  Imperial  Parliament  with- 
out being  submitted  to  the  approval  of  the  people  whom  it 
iifi'ected.  It  was  quite  evident  that  Mr.  Howe's  strength  in 
Nova  Scotia,  as  a  leader,  was  a  great  obstacle  to  the  consolida- 
tion of  the  union,  and  that  to  conciliate  liim  and  his  followers, 
if  such  were  possible,  in  a  constitutional  way,  was  the  duty  of 
both  sides  of  the  House.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  amendments 
made  to  the  Quebec  resolutions  in  London,  after  they  had  been 
approved  by  the  Provinces,  were  largely  in  the  interest  of 
Nova  Scotia,  and  their  acquiescence  in  these  changes  that  were 
made  without  their  authority,  shewed  how  anxious  the  other 
Provinces  were  not  to  imperil  Confederation  by  any  sectional 
cry.    But  Mr.  Howe  was  not  to  be  conciliated  by  sentimental 

roilHiMlS. 

During  the  Session  of  18G7-8,  on  the  floor  of  Parliament, 
and  on  the  platform,  he  expressed  the  strongest  hostility  to 
Confederation,  and  even  appealed  to  the  Imperial  Parliament 
to  allow  Nova  Scotia  to  withdraw  entirely  from  the  union.  It 
M-as  suspected  in  some  quarters  that  his  personal  hostility  to 
Dr.  Tupper  was  largely  the  basis   of  his  opposition.      This, 


250 


LIFE  OF  THE  IlOy.  A  LEX  AX  DEI:  MACKENZIE. 


however,  coukl  scarcely  be  considered  a  sufficicut  motive  for  a 
man  of  Mr.  Howe's  political  experience. 

In  the  autumn  of  1868,  Sir  John  Macdonald  visited  Halifax 
for  the  purpose  of  endeavoring  to  reconcile  Mr.  Howe  to  Con- 
federation ;  and  as  a  result  of  this  visit,  Mr.  Howe  took  a  seat 
in  the  Government  as  President  of  the  Council,  and  also  came 
to  an  understanding  with  Sir  John  that  Nova  Scotia  should 
obtain  "  better  terms  "  than  were  allowed  her  under  the  British 
North  American  Act.  There  could  be  no  objection  to  the  ac- 
ceptance by  Mr.  Howe  of  a  seat  in  the  Government,  although 
his  sudden  change  of  front  on  a  question  which  he  deemed  of 
such  vital  importance  to  his  Piovince,  was  strangely  abrupt. 
Even  the  "  better  terms,"  which  he  obtained,  did  not  remove 
the  main  objection  which  he  urged,  namely,  that  Confederation 
was  thrust  upon  the  people  of  Nova  Scotia  without  their  con- 
sent. He  was,  therefore,  open  to  the  triple  charge  of  accepting 
a  seat  in  a  Government  which  he  declared  had  inflicted  the 
great  wrong  upon  Nova  Scotia  of  having  abandoned  a  vital 
principle  in  constitutional  Government,  and  of  having  bartered 
away  provincial  rights,  for  a  trilling  financial  consideration. 
No  doubt  the  withdrawal  of  his  active  opposition  weakened 
the  anti-Unionist  cause  very  greatly,  while  his  acceptance  of 
a  seat  in  the  Government  destroyed  forever  his  influence  as  a 
leader.  No  deserter  in  the  hour  of  battle  ever  drew  down 
upon  himself  the  malediction  and  contempt  of  his  conipanions 
more  completely  tlian  did  Mr.  Howe,  by  his  acceptance  of  the 
conditions  offered  him  by  the  Dominion  Government  as  the 
price  of  his  support. 

On  the  11th  of  June,  on  a  motion  by  Mr.  Blake,  seconded 
by  Mr.  Mackenzie,  the  terms  made  by  the  Government  with 
Nova  Scotia  were  challenged  in  the  House  on  the  grounds, 
first,  that  the   British  North   America   Act  settled  the  mutual 


rOLICY  OF  THE  LIBERALS  ASSERTED. 


251 


liabilities  of  Canada  and  of  each  Province  in  respect  to  the 
public  debt ;  second,  that  the  British  North  America  Act  di<;l 
not  empower  the  Parliament  of  Canada  to  change  the  basis  of 
union;  and  third,  that  any  change  in  such  basis  of  union 
would  imperil  the  interests  of  the  several  Provinces  and  im- 
pair the  stability  of  the  Constitution.  In  the  discussion  of 
these  resolutions  it  was  shown  that  injustice  was  done  to  the 
other  Provinces  by  increasing  the  financial  advantages  of 
Xo\a  Scotia  under  Confederation,  while  no  change  was  made 
ill  the  terms  of  Confederation  so  far  as  they  were  concerned ; 
that  the  British  North  America  Act  was  of  the  nature  of  a 
treaty  between  all  the  Provinces,  and  that  if  the  Parli;iment 
of  Canada  could  increase  the  subsidies,  as  was  propofsed  in 
the  case  of  Nova  Scotia,  it  could  also  reduce  them,  and  that 
if  it  could  deal  with  the  subsidies  it  might  deal  with  any 
other  feature  of  the  Act  and  practically  destroy  Confederation. 
Perhaps  there  was  no  debate  of  the  session  that  excited 
more  interest  or  illustrated  better  the  speaking  force  of  both 
^ides  of  the  House.  The  mover  of  the  resolution,  Mr.  Blake, 
in  an  argument  exceedingly  clear  and  forcible,  gave  the  con- 
stitutional view  of  the  question,  and  was  ably  supported  by 
Mr.  Mackenzie.  During  a  later  stage  of  the  discussion,  Sir 
John  Macdonald  attacked  the  Liberal  party,  and  particularly 
Mr.  Mackenzie,  for  their  opposition  to  the  arrangement  made 
with  Mr.  Howe.  He  charged  them  with  disloyalty  to  Con- 
federation. "  If  this  motion  carried,"  he  said,  "  there  would 
be  a  jubilee  among  the  avowed  anti-Confederate  rebels  and 
annexationists  of  Nova  Scotia,  and  a  corresponding  depression 
among  those  in  that  Province  who  desire  the  union  to  be  suc- 
cessful. If  honourable  gentlemen  repudiated  this  arrange- 
ment Avhich  had  been  entered  into  with  Nova  Scotia  they 
would  give  a  death-blow  to  Confederation,  and  on  them,  not 


ill 


262 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


on  him,  would  rest  the  responsibility  of  so  suicidal  an  act." 
Mr.  Mackenzie  was  greatly  incensed  by  Sir  John's  imputation, 
and  replied  with  great  vigor.  He  contended,  "li  Sir  John 
Macdonald  was  able  to  set  aside  the  Act  of  Union  by  the 
subserviency  of  a  Parliament  which  he  had  at  his  command, 
the  Act  of  Confederation  was  not  worth  the  paper  it  was 
written  on.  .  .  .  By  tampering  with  the  Imperial  Act  he 
did  away  with  the  only  security  we  had  for  our  rights.  What 
was  it  that  originated  the  difficulties  they  had  in  the  old 
Province  of  Canada  ?  What  but  that  honourable  gentleman's 
recklessness  and  extravagance  ?  What  raised  those  sectarian 
difficulties  which  compelled  them  to  seek  a  new  state  of  poli- 
tical existence  ?  Was  it  not  the  honourable  gentleman's  mis- 
conduct andl  maladministration  of  public  affiiirs  ?  The  hon- 
ourable gentleman  had  no  right  to  say  that  those  who  voted 
for  the  amendment  before  the  House  voted  to  break  down 
the  Dominion.  The  real  enemies  of  the  Dominion  were  those 
who  disregarded  the  obligations  of  its  Constitution,  and  thus 
outraged  every  sound  principle  of  statesmanship  and  party 
government." 

Notwithstanding  Mr,  Mackenzie's  earnest  warning  to  the 
House,  that  to  purchase  the  conciliation  of  Nova  Scotia  at  the 
expense  of  the  Constitution  was  a  most  dangerous  precedent, 
the  "  better  terms "  were  finally  agreed  upon,  every  member 
from  Nova  Scotia  voting  in  favour  of  them. 

The  political  effect  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  attitude  upon  the 
Liberal  party  in  Nova  Scotia  was  certainly  unfavorable.  He 
was  no  doubt  aware  at  the  time  that  every  word  said  in  Par- 
liament against  "  better  terms "  would  be  represented  by  his 
opponents  as  expressions  of  hostility  to  Nova  Scotia,  and  that 
in  future  election  contests  the  Liberal  party  would  suffei* 
accordingly.     It  would  have  been  easy  for  him,  had  he  been 


"n 


POLICY  OF  THE  LIBERALS  ASSERTED. 


263 


■II 


so  inclined,  to  suggest  even  better  terms  than  those  proposed, 
or  to  promise,  should  he  come  into  power,  to  deal  with  other 
grievances  then  unsettled,  but,  "  to  do  so,"  to  use  his  own 
language,  "  would  be  treason  to  Confederation."  Besides,  he 
was  laying  down  the  policy  of  a  great  party  under  a  new 
order  of  things,  and  it  was  well  that  the  Liberals  should, 
through  their  leaders  in  Parliament,  recognise  the  British 
North  America  Act  as  a  compact  too  solenm  to  be  set  aside, 
varied  or  altered,  except  by  the  authority  that  gave  it  exist- 
ence, and  then  only  with  the  concurrence  of  all  parties 
originally  concerned. 

The  pending  negotiations  with  the  Imperial  Government  and 
the  Hudson  Bay  Company  were  closed  in  18G9,  the  Dominion 
Government  agreeing  to  pay  the  sum  of  £300,000  sterling  to 
the  Hudson  Bay  Company,  and  also  agreeing  to  certain  reser- 
vations in  the  interests  of  the  Company.  The  rights  of  the  In- 
dians and  half-breeds  in  the  territories  were  to  be  respected. 
Provision  was  ma-.'c;  lor  the  administration  of  this  vast  terri- 
tory by  a  Lieutenant-Governor,  to  be  appointed  by  the  Gover- 
nor-General, All  laws  in  force  in  the  territories,  not  inconsis- 
tent with  the  British  North  America  Act,  or  terms  of  admis- 
sion, were  to  remain  in  force  until  amended  or  repealed. 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Dennis  was  appointed  to  organise  a  system 
of  public  surveys  of  the  new  territory,  and  the  Hon.  William 
MacDougall,  who  was  concerned  in  negotiating  the  ac(|uisition 
of  the  territory,  was  appointed  Lieiitcnant-Governor. 

The  changes  made  in  the  Government  are  worthy  of  note. 
Sir  Francis  Hiucks  succeeded  Sir  John  Rose,  as  Minister  of 
Finance,  Mr.  Dunkin  was  appointed  Minister  of  Agriculture, 
Mr.  Alexander  Morris,  Minister  of  Inland  llevenue,  and  Mr. 
J.  C.  Aikins,  Secretary  of  State  for  Canada ;  Mr.  Howe  was 
appointed  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Provinces. 


1 

m 

254 


LIFJi:  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


The  session  of  1SG9  emphasized,  even  more  than  the  preced- 
ing session  did,  Mr.  Mackenzie's  usefulness  as  a  member  of 
Parliament.  Even  his  opponents  were  obliged  to  recognise 
liis  ability  and  fairness.  The  correspondent  of  the  Montreal 
Gazette  closed  certain  observations  on  the  work  of  the  session 
by  referring  to  Mr.  Mackenzie  as  follows :  "  We  must  regard 
the  leader  of  the  Opposition  as  a  remarkable  man — remark- 
able for  his  self-acquirements,  his  extensive  reading,  his  large 
stock  of  information  on  all  public  matters,  his  power  of  reason, 
and  his  readiness  of  speech  and  strength  in  debate.  As  a 
leader  of  the  Opposition,  he  has  shewn  himself,  especially  dur- 
ing the  recent  session,  eminently  fitted  for  the  position." 


\mm 


CHAPTER  XX. 


REBELLION   IN   THE   NORTH   WEST. 

Customs  Uiifon— Commercial  Treaties— Speech  by  Mr.  Maclicnzic  Pvcbcllior. 
iu  Manitoba — Alarm  of  the  Settlers— MaoDougall  Refused  Admission — Riel, 
President — Murder  of  Scott — Debates  in  I'arlianient — lOxpedition  \uitler 
Wolselej' — Mr.  Archibald  Appointed  Lieutenant-Governor — Rewa.-d  Otlercd 
by  Ontario  Government — Trial  of  Lepine — Discussion  iu  the  House  of  Com- 
mons— Amnesty  Granted — Lord  DutTerin's  Action. 

n|p4^  HE  first  great  debate  of  the  session  of  1870  took 
'  YVJI^i^  place  on  a  motion  by  Mr.  Huntington  in  favor  of 
v^Jjj^l  lleciproeity  and  a  Customs  Union  with  all  coun- 
*^  tries  trading  with  the  Dominion,  and  demanding 
the  right  of  making  commercial  treaties,  subject  to  the 
approval  of  the  Imperial  Government,  with  all  foreign 
States  that  might  be  disposed  to  negotiate  such  commercial 
treaties  upon  terms  advantageous  to  Canada.  Mr.  Hunting- 
ton, in  a  speech  of  much  eloquence,  called  upon  Parliament  to 
recognize  the  commercial  standing  of  Canada,  its  great  natural 
resources,  and  the  necessity  of  providing  an  easy  outlet  for 
its  manufactures.  To  be  allowed  to  negotiate  her  own  treaties 
would  be  a  due  recognition  of  her  national  standing,  and  so 
long  as  such  treaties  were  subject  to  the  approval  of  the 
Imperial  Government  there  could  be  no  danger  of  conflict 
with  Imperial  interests.  With  larger  markets  for  our  pro- 
duce, the  enterprise  of  the  people  would  have  more  scope. 
Foreign  capital  would  be  attracted,  and  employment  ^^'ould 
be  given  to  our  people  at  home. 

255 


'^1 


256 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


The  Government  olyected  to  Mr.  Huntington's  resolution 
on  the  ground,  set  forth  in  the  amendment  moved  by  Sir 
John  Macdonald:  "  that  in  any  attempt  to  enter  into  a  treaty 
with  any  foreign  power  without  the  strong  and  direct  sup- 
port of  the  Mother  Country,  the  principal  party  must  fail, 
and  that  a  Customs  Union  with  the  United  States,  now  so 
heavily  taxed,  would  be  unfair  to  the  Empire  and  injurious 
to  the  Dominion,  and  would  shatter  the  ties  now  so  happily 
existing  between  them." 

In  the  debate  which  followed,  Mr.  Mackenzie  took  a  loading 
part,  expressing  at  the  very  outset  his  opposition  to  a  Customs 
Union  as  proposed  by  Mr.  Huntington.  He  then,  as  always, 
avowed  himself  in  favor  of  the  freest  possible  intercourse 
with  all  nations  whose  markets  we  seek,  and  claimed  for  Can- 
ada the  right  of  making  her  own  commercial  treaties,  as  she 
understood  her  own  wants  better  than  any  foreign  diploma- 
tist. He  pointed  to  the  blunders  of  Lord  Ashburton  in  184G, 
by  which  we  lost  almost  the  whole  of  Minnesota,  Michigan 
and  the  States  lying  to  the  west,  and  asserted  that  we  owe 
many  of  our  present  disorders  to  the  fact  that  we  were  not 
entrusted  with  any  share  in  conducting  the  negotiations  so 
essential  to  our  own  welfare.  "  I  have  heard  it  said  that  the 
United  States  and  Great  Britain  would  guarantee  our  inde- 
pendence, and  then  we  would  be  quite  safe.  Sir,  I  do  not 
want  any  guarantee  of  our  independence.  I  want  no  guar- 
antee of  any  kind.  We  are  now  a  part  of  the  British  Enipin;, 
and  if  we  are  to  cut  loose  from  it,  I  would  scorn  the  po'.'- 
tion  of  a  principality  having  its  independence  guaranteed  by 
any  country.  Remember,  however,  1  am  not  advocating 
the  separation  of  Canada  from  the  Mother  Country.  Canada 
was  a  British  possession  wlien  I  chose  it  for  my  future  homo, 
and  I  shall  regret  the  occurrence  of  anything  that  would  ten<l 


i 


t 


(i'    '    •Uf'I-liiii'.s    »a  ■til 


vm 


BEBELLIOX  IN  THE  NORTH-WEST.  257 

ill  tlie  sliglitcst  degree  to  wealcon  tlie  ties  tliat  I  trust  will  be 
]  lerpetuated  between  the  Mother  Cold -try  aud  her  British 
Anierican  Colonies." 

The  ministerialists,  with  their  natural  leanings  towards  pre- 
roL'ative,  declined  to  entertain  the  idea  that  Canada  should  be 
a  party  even  to  treaties,  no  matter  how  greatly  she  may  be 
affected  by  the  conclusions  arrived  at.  The  great  injuries 
suffered  by  British  diplomacy  in  the  past,  as  pointed  out  by 
Mr.  Mackenzie,  were  apparently  of  no  consequence  in  their 
eves.  Although  the  future  of  half  a  continent  miijht  be 
atlected  by  the  blunders  of  a  plenipotentiary  ignorant  of  the 
geographical  or  commercial  trend  of  the  country  why  com- 
])lain  ?  We  were  not  a  nation,  but  a  colony.  To  attect  the 
natural  instinct  of  a  nation,  that  is,  to  look  out  for  ourselves, 
would  be  derogatory  of  Her  Majesty's  Government,  and  col- 
onists must  bo  careful  never  to  give  olience  on  this  score. 

Even  Mr.  Howe,  who  was  ready  to  defy  the  Imperial  Act 
liv  wiiich  Nova  Scotia  was  united  to  the  other  Provinces, 
could  not  entertain  the  idea  that  Canada  should,  on  her  own 
motion,  make  a  treaty  with  any  foreign  country  for  the  recip- 
rocal interchanne  of  commodities.  It  remained  for  Mr.  Mac- 
ken/ie  and  his  Liberal  allies,  in  the  earliest  days  of  the  his- 
toiy  of  the  ]3ominion,  to  express  the  aspirations  of  Canadians 
for  national  autonomy,  and  to  proclaim  on  the  floor  of  the 
House  of  Conmions  their  unbounded  confidence  in  thu  future 
ot"  the  country,  commercially  and  politicall}'. 

In  the  previous  chapter,  reference  was  made  to  the  Bill  for 
the  establishment  of  tci-ritorial  government  in  the  North-West 
'J\rritories.  The  Hon.  \Vm.  MacDougall  was  appointed  the 
lirst  Lieutenant-Governor.  AVlim  it  became  known  to  the 
H  ttlers  at  Fort  Garry  and  other  points  in  the  Territories 
that  the  Dominion  Government  was  to  assume  the  control  of 


258 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


tlicir  affairs,  they  became  greatly  alarmed — perliaps  without 
sufficient  reason ;  althouo-h,  had  the  Government  exercised  pro- 
per forethought,  it  is  quite  clear  the  alarm  of  the  inhabitants 
would  not  have  assumed  the  aggressive  form  which  it  did. 
They  felt  that  to  send  up  a  ready-made  Government  to  take 
charge  of  their  atl'airs  was  a  poor  compliment  to  their  in- 
telligence. Many  of  them,  half-breeds  as  they  were,  were 
well  educated  and  had  accumulated  considerable  property  dur- 
ing their  residence  in  the  country.  They  had  been  contented 
and  prosperous  under  Hudson's  Bay  rule,  and  they  felt  that 
their  transfer  to  another  power,  without  consultation,  was 
treating  them  somewhat  cavalierly.  Besides,  rumors,  no  doubt 
false,  with  regard  to  IMr.  MaeDougall's  treatment  of  the  Indians, 
while  Commissioner  of  Public  Lands,  were  promulgated  for 
the  purpose  of  arousing  the  hostility  of  the  half-breeds.  And 
so,  personal  opposition  to  their  future  ruler  was  added  to  their 
aversion  to  the  methods  by  which  it  was  proposed  to  govern 
them. 

Colonel  Di'unis,  who  had  been  sent  up  in  ad^  ance  oP  Mr. 
MacDougall  to  survey  the  country,  was  also  regarded  with 
suspicion.  The  settlers  could  not  understand  wluit  the  survey- 
ing of  their  lands  by  a  band  of  officers  meant,  if  they  had  no 
sinister  object  in  view,  as  they  believed  that  their  farmy  were 
already  sufficiently  well  defined  for  their  own  purposes.  To 
add  to  their  alarms,  Mr.  Howe's  visit,  as  Secretary  of  State, 
was  inopportune.  Instead  of  pouring  oil  upon  'Jie  troubled 
waters,  and  reassuring  the  discontented  that  due  consideration 
would  be  given  to  all  their  com|)laints,  ho  connived  at  their 
threatened  op[iositioii  U^  .Mi'.  MacDougall,  should  ho  presume 
to  enter  the  country,  as  Licutcuiant-Governoi',  and  in  this  way 
perhajts  iuadvi-itfiil l\  .  siivngthened  their  determination  tu 
otf'er  resistance  to  his  .lutlioritv. 


n\i 


REBELLION  IN  THE  NORTH-WEST. 


209 


Uri'ler  these  circumstances  a  provisional  council  of  the  set- 
tlers was  or<,^anized,  of  whicli  Air.  John  Bruce  was  president, 
and  Louis  liiel  secretary. 

In  the  meantime,  Mr.  MncDougall  and  several  gentlemen, 
some  of  whom  were  to  constitute  his  new  council,  reached 
Pembina  on  their  way  to  l''ort  Garry  to  assume  the  gov- 
ernment of  the  countr^^  They  were  unexpectedly  met  1)}' 
some  French  half-breeds,  who,  in  the  name  of  a  national 
conmiittee,  Avarned  them  not  to  enter  the  country.  Mr.  Mac- 
Dougall  did  not  consider  it  prudent  to  adsaiice  in  the  face  of 
such  warning.  After  trying,  in  vain,  for  about  a  month  to 
communicate  with  the  Governor  of  the  Hudson's  Ba^^  Company, 
and  finding  the  opposition  to  his  entering  the  countiy  increas- 
ing, lie  retired  across  the  boundary  line  into  the  United  States. 

The  Government,  so  soon  as  it  became  aware  of  the  distur- 
bance, declined  to  pay  over  to  the  Hudson's  Bay  Company  the 
sum  of  £:)()0,()00  agreed  upon,  on  the  ground  that  they  stipu- 
lated for  the  peaceable  possession  of  the  teriitory.  The  trans- 
fer was  fixed  for  the  first  of  Decendier,  and  on  that  date, 
acoordinsf  to  ]\li'.  .MacDouy-aU's  connnission.  he  was  to  Xf.  Lieu- 
tenant-Governor  of  the  territory.  He  issued  a  proclamation 
commanding  the  insurgents  to  disperse  and  return  to  their 
homes,  and  threatened  the  usual  penalties  in  case  of  disobedi- 
ence. He  also  made  an  attempt,  by  the  assistance  of  Colonel 
Dennis,  t(j  raise  a  force  and  put  down  the  rebel li(  .1.  His  pro- 
clamation was  treated  with  contempt,  and  Colonel  Dennis  was 
unable  to  raise  the  force  re(]uired.  Mr.  MacDougall  had  no 
clioice,  therefore,  but  to  return  to  Ontario,  which  he  did. 

The  oituntrv  was  now  in  the  hands  of  the  insuri>vnts,  with 
Louis  iiicl  as  dictator.  Tlic  authority  of  the  Dominion  Gov- 
ermneit  was  defied,  and  tlie  Hudson's  Bay  Company  wseemod 
liel[)less  to  maintain  order.     Peaceful  citizens  were  imprisoned 


il'n 


i!  ill 
l|i  -H 


2C0 


L/FL  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALFXASDER  MACKENZIE. 


at  the  caprice  oF  tho  leader  of  the  reljel  party,  and  the  country 
was  gi'eatly  aoitatcd  as  to  what  tlie  end  would  be. 

In  order  to  repair,  if  possible,  the  evil  effects  of  their  blun- 
dering, the  Government  sent  a  commission  to  the  !North-^\'est, 
consisting  of  Vicar-General  Thibault,  Col,  de  Sallaberry  and 
Mr.  Donald  A.  Smith,  chief  agent  of  the  Hudson's  Bay  Com- 
pany at  Montreal,  "  to  en<}uire  into  the  causes  of  the  rebellion 
and  to  explain  to  the  people  the  intentions  of  the  Canadian 
Government."  Bishop  Tach(?,  formerly  a  resident  of  the  coun- 
try, but  then  at  Rome,  was  telegraphed  for.  It  was  thought 
that  his  ecclesiastical  position  and  his  influence  with  the 
French  half-breeds  would  be  helpful  in  restoring  tranquillity. 
Riel,  who  seemed  to  have  cast  off  all  restraint,  discharged  the 
duties  of  the  presidency  with  the  tyranny  of  an  eastern  Pasiia, 
Major  Bolton,  a  Canadian  officer  of  militia,  whom  he  had  cap- 
tured at  the  head  of  a  little  force  of  loyalists,  was  put  under 
sentence  of  death,  and  were  it  not  for  the  into'position  (jf  Mr. 
Smith,  the  sentence  would  have  been  carried  out.  Mr.  Thos- 
Scott  was  not  so  fortunate.  He  had,  in  some  way  or  other, 
incurred  Kiel's  displeasure,  and  in  spite  of  remonstrances 
from  several  influential  quartei'S,  Scott  was  cruelly  executed 
on  the  4th  of  March,  the  circumstances  attending  his  execu- 
tion being  most  distressing. 

At  a  meeting  of  a  council  of  the  settlers,  Judge  Black, 
Father  Richot,  and  Mr.  A.  Scott,  were  appointed  delegates  to 
go  to  Ottawa  to  lay  their  grievances  before  the  Govej'nment. 
The  commissioners  had  made  in  the  meantime  a  re[)ort  as 
instructed,  and  the  Government  was  ofllcially  informed  as  to 
all  the  difliculties  ol'  the  situation. 

Enquiries  were  made  of  the  (Government  at  different  times 
with  regard  to  theii-  intentions  in  dealing  with  the  North-West 
troubles.     The  prevailing  feeling  of  the  House  appeared  to  be 


itat 


IlEBELLIOX  IX  THE  NORTH-WEST. 


261 


that  the  rebellion  must  be  suppressed  at  once,  and  communica- 
tions ^vere  opened  with  the  Imperial  Government  to  find  out 
how  far  they  were  willing  to  assist  in  estal)lishiii<^'  the  su- 
premacy of  British  law  in  the  Territurir's.  Mr.  MacDougall, 
who  still  held  his  seat  in  Parliament,  was  greatly  embittered 
by  the  unjust  treatment,  as  he  supposed,  to  which  he  was  sub- 
jecteil  by  the  Government,  and  he  lost  no  opportunity  to  attack 
Mr.  Plowe  for  the  sinister  influence  which  he  believed  he  ex- 
ert(.'d  in  fomenting  opposition  to  his  entrance  into  the  Terri- 
tories. When  the  Manitoba  Bill  was  under  discussion,  he 
went  so  far  as  to  charo-e  Mr.  Howe  with  being  a  traitor  to  tho 
British  Crown,  and  of  doing  all  he  could  to  destroy  the  cha- 
ractt.'r  and  authority  of  the  Canadian  Government  in  the 
lii.'d  River  settlement. 

On  the  2nd  May,  1870,  Sir  John  Macdonald  introduced  a 
bill  for  the  establishment  of  a  Provincial  Government  in  part 
of  the  territory,  the  new  Province  to  be  callc<l  Manitoba,  and 
ill  the  discussion  of  this  bill  an  opportunity  was  afibrded  for 
ventilating  fully  the  complaints  ol'  the  Opposition  with  the 
Government  policy  in  the  North-West  Territories.  It  was 
jiointed  out,  in  the  lirst  phice,  that  had  the  Government  been 
liheral  enough  to  trust  the  settlers  the  year  previous  and 
given  them  Responsible  Government,  as  they  were  now  doing, 
there  would  have  bi'en  no  rebellion  ami  no  saerilice  of  life, 
tluit  all  the  exi)enses  ()\  e(>mmissi(jiu!i's  and  delegates  would 
have  been  avoided,  and  that  the  distracting  efl'ects  which  tin* 
North-West  troubles  produced  upon  the  rmtlier  settlement  of 
the  territory  would  not  have  occurred.  Attention  was  .dso 
called  to  the  limitetl  character  of  the  Province  about  to  lie 
establislRnl.  In  area  it  ditl  not  exceed  11.000  S(iuare  miles, 
and  it  was  st»  outlined  as  at  first  to  exclude  (he  large  English 
settlements  at  Portaire  la  Prairie,  onl\-  00  miles  from  Winni- 


■^mmmr 


li  'H 


2G2 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


peg.     This  was,  however,  amended  at  a  subsequent  stage  of 
the  bill. 

The  bill,  tlioui^h  a  £^reat  improvement  on  the  oligarchy  for 
which  it  was  intended  as  a  substitute,  was  not  as  liberal  in 
its  provisions  as  the  circumstaxices  of  the  case  required.  Mr. 
Mackenzie  expressed  his  preference  for  temporary  legislation 
respecting  tlie  territories,  giving  the  people  representation  and 
the  riglit  to  manage  all  local  afl'airs  until  after  the  lapse  of 
a  few  years  the  House  became  better  informed  with  regard 
to  their  wants.  But  his  amendment  was  rejected.  He  also 
proposed  an  amendment  for  the  enlargement  of  the  Province. 
This  also  was  rejected,  as  was  his  amendment  in  favor  of 
giving  the  settler  the  right  to  prempt  a  certain  quantity  of 
land  free  of  charge.  It  was  also  proposed  to  eliminate  from 
the  bill  the  clause  res}iecting  education,  which  has  given  rise 
within  the  last  few  years  to  so  much  trouble. 

Before  the  bill  passed  its  final  stage,  a  motion  by  Mr. 
Masson,  affirming  the  inexpedienc}''  of  sending  Canadian  and 
Imperial  troops  to  the  North- West  for  suppressing  the  re- 
bellion, came  up  for  discussion.  Doubts  were  expressed  by 
several  members  of  the  House  as  to  the  wisdom  of  sendinof 
an  armed  force  into  the  country',  as  it  might  lead  to  the 
loss  of  many  valuable  lives,  and  the  people,  so  overawed, 
would  look  with  less  favor  hereafter  upon  the  relations  with 
the  Dominion.  Mr.  Mackenzie  strongly  protested  against  any 
further  dilly-dallying  with  rebels,  and  insisted  that  the  Gov- 
ernment should  at  once  take  decisive  action.  "  He  would  like 
to  see  if  there  was  a  majority  in  the  House  who  would  refuse 
to  give  protection  to  the  loyal  inhabitants  of  that  country  in 
face  of  the  public  opinion  of  the  Dominion.  He  would  like 
to  see  if  therr^  were  a  dozen  members  in  the  House  with  such 
a  want  of  manliness  and  lionesty  as  to  allow  rebels  to  drive 


REBELLION  IX  THE  NORTH-WEST, 


263 


loyal  men  from  the  Territory,  seize  their  property,  endanger 
their  sai'uty,  and  even  take  life  where  there  was  no  excuse  for 
it.  The  first  thing  to  be  done  by  any  nation  or  country  pre- 
tending to  have  any  power  or  love  of  law  and  order  was  to 
enforce  its  authority  and  then,  if  any  injustice  or  grievance 
should  be  found  to  exist,  have  the  one  removed  and  the  other 
redressed.  But  there  liad  been  not  only  a  vioUition  of  law 
and  order,  but  murders  had  been  committed,  and  the  mur- 
derers must  be  brouglit  to  justice  if  the  arm  of  Britisli  law 
could  reach  them.  If  we  could  not  punish  these  men  and 
restore  authority,  tlien  it  would  be  better  to  seek  otlier 
political  relations  where  there  would  be  sufficient  power  to 
protect  life  and  property  and  preserve  order.  He  had  but  one 
view  of  the  matter,  either  restore  order  there  peremptorily,  or 
cease  to  be  a  nation.  If  the  force  proposed  to  be  sent  wtts  not 
sufficient,  send  more.  They  should  send  iive,  ten,  twenty 
thousand  men  if  necessary,  but  order  should  be  restoi'ed.  He 
would,  in  that  case,  support  tiie  Government  with  all  his 
power  and  force,  though  he  felt  humiliated  at  the  position 
they  had  taken  in  passing  the  bill." 

On  the  day  on  wliich  this  speech  was  delivered,  payment 
was  made  to  the  Hudson's  Bay  Company  of  the  sum  stipu- 
lated for  the  transfer  of  their  interests,  and  the  territories 
then  formally  passed  to  tiie  possession  of  Canada.  Whatever 
halting  there  may  have  been  in  the  minds  of  the  Government 
with  regard  to  the  propriety  of  putting  down  the  rebellion 
with  a  strong  hand,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  public 
opinion  of  Ontario  was  in  favor  of  decisive  measures.  The 
motion  made  in  the  House  by  Mr.  Masson,  already  referred  to, 
and  the  attitude  of  the  French-Canadian  press,  created  the 
impression  that  Kiel,  even  in  those  early  days,  had  more 
sympathisers   than   his   cause   deserved,  admitting   that    the 


sni  II 


i! 


264 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


discontent  wliich  his  actions  represented  was  not  without 
foundation.  It  is  due,  however,  to  the  French  members  ol" 
the  House  of  Commons  to  state  that  the  proposition  to  strike 
out  of  the  Bill  of  Supply  the  sum  of  i?l ,400,000  for  the  Red 
River  expedition,  and  for  openiufj  up  the  North- West  Terri- 
tories, receivetl  only  thirteen  votes. 

The  House  was  prorogued  on  the  12th  of  May.  On  the  fol- 
lowing day,  the  expedition,  which  was  under  prepamtion  for 
some  time,  started  by  way  of  Collingwood  and  Thunder  Bay 
for  the  Red  River,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Wolselcy, 
afterwards  Lord  Wolselcy.  The  coiuvse  lay  along  the  well- 
known  Dawson  route,  and  it  was  not  until  the  24th  of  Aug- 
ust, after  a  very  fatiguing  journey,  that  they  reached  Fort 
Garry.  Riel  and  his  companions  took  refuge  in  flight,  and 
a  rebellion  which  might  have  been  avoided,  as  Mr.  Macken- 
zie pointed  out  over  and  ( 'ver  again,  had  the  Government 
paid  reasonable  deference  to  the  wislu's  of  the  people,  was  at 
an  end. 

On  the  2nd  of  September,  1870,  Mr.  Adams  G.  Archi1)ald, 
the  new  Lieutenant-Governor,  arrived  in  the  TroNince  and  on 
the  Gth  entered  upon  his  official  duties,  and  by  so  doing  Mani- 
toba was  entitled  to  be  recognized  as  a  member  of  the  Sister- 
hood of  Canadian  Provinces. 

The  year  following  Mr.  Archibald's  a})pointment  to  the 
Lieutenant-Governovship  of  Manitoba,  it  was  rumored  that  a 
considerable  body  of  Fenians  were  gathering  along  the  south- 
ern frontier  and  preparing  to  invade  the  country.  The  leader 
of  this  movement  was  one  ODonoghue,  who  had  been  asso- 
ciated with  Riel  in  the  rebellion  of  1809.  It  was  feared 
that  O'Donoghue  was  acting  in  concert  with  Riel  and  Lepine 
and  in  that  case  the  loyalty  of  the  French  lialf-breeds  could 
hardly  be  depended  upon.     Mr.   Archibald  had  uo  adetjuate 


REBELLION  IN  THE  NOL'TII-WEST. 


265 


asso- 

earod 

.cpine 

couM 

nuato 


moans  of  defence,  and  was  consequently  thrown  entirely  upon 
jiis  own  resources.  The  people  of  the  Province  were  of  dif- 
ferent nationaliti'^s  and  different  relio-ious  faith,  and  as  only  a 
few  months  before  they  had  arrayed  themselves  against  the 
(^iiirens  Government,  it  was  very  uncertain  what  they  would 
do,  should  the  standard  of  relidlion  Ije  hoisted  a  second  time. 
Under  those  circumstances,  it  was  but  naturtd  to  suppose  that 
the  Lieut.-Governor  should  consider  the  defence  of  the  Pro- 
vince and  the  safety  of  the  population  to  be  his  first  duty. 
If  the  French  Metis  and  their  leaders  could  be  depended  upon, 
all  would  be  well ;  if  not,  the  events  of  IcSliO  niiolit  be  repeat- 
eil,  and  probably  with  greater  enormity.  Governor  Archibald 
therefore  determined  to  place  himself  at  once  in  communica- 
tion with  Riel  and  Lepine,  and,  if  possible,  secure  their  good 
ortices  for  the  defence  of  the  country.  Kiel  and  Le|)in('  im- 
mediately organized  the  inhabitants  for  defensive  pur[)oses. 
The  Liout.-Governor  showed  his  confidence  in  their  bona  Jules, 
|iroiiiising  them  at  least  a  temporary  inununity  from  molesta- 
tion on  account  of  the  crime  of  which  they  were  accused, 
shook  hands  with  them  and  complimented  them  on  the  loy- 
alty tliey  had  shown,  and  the  services  they  had  rendered.  In 
his  (.'vidence  before  a  committee  ol"  the  House  of  Commons 
liL-  stated,  to  use  his  own  language,  that  "  if  the  Dominion  has 
at  this  moniiiit  a  Province  to  defend  and  not  one  to  conquer, 
tiny  owe  it  to  the  policy  of  forbearance.  If  I  had  driven 
the  French  half-breeds  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy,  O'Don- 
ogJuK.'  would  have  been  joined  i>y  all  the  population  between 
tlir  Assiniljoine  and  the  frontier.  Fort  Garry  would  have 
passed  into  the  hands  of  an  armed  mob,  and  the  English  set- 
tlors to  the  north  of  the  Assiniboine  would  iia\e  suffered 
ImiTors  it  makes  me  shmlder  to  contenqjlate." 

We    next   hear  of  Riel   and    J.cpiiir   on   the   flth  o!'  April, 


#' 


's^F--  ->.*-;i«a 


m^ 


266 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEKAXDER  MACKENZIE. 


1871,  on  a  motion  in  the  House  of  Commons  by  Mr.  Rymal, 
expressing  rc<;i"ut  "  that  the  Government  had  done  notliin^ 
towards  procuring  punishment  for  the  murderers  of  Thomas 
Scott,  and  that  an  humble  address  be  presented  to  His  Excel- 
lency tliat  he  Avould  take  such  sti^ps  as  would  be  calculated  to 
bring  these  men  to  justice."  The  indifierence  which  the 
Government  manifested  in  this  matter  Avas  made  the  occasion 
for  a  very  indignant  speech  from  one  of  its  supporters,  Mr. 
Bowell,  who  pointed  out  that  many  of  those  engaged  in  the 
rebellion,  who  were  directly  or  indirectly  concerned  in  the 
murder  of  Scott,  had  received  recognition  at  the  hands  of 
tlie  Government  or  their  friends.  Mr.  Lepine,  Kiel's  Adjutant- 
Genci'al,  was  appointed  scrutineer  on  behalf  of  a  Minister- 
ial candidate.  Mr.  Bannatyne,  who  sj-mpathizod  with  the 
rebels  and  tampered  with  the  letters  of  tlie  loyalists,  was  also 
marked  out  for  favor.  Mr,  O'Donnell,  one  of  Riels  council, 
was  appointed  to  the  Legislative  Council  of  tlie  Province,  and 
Mr.  Spencc  was  made  clerk  of  the  same.  To  allow  Riel,  and 
particularly  Lepino,  to  run  at  large  without  any  etr<.)rt  to 
arrest  them,  or,  if  they  took  refuge  in  the  United  States,  to 
make  no  eflbrt  to  secure  their  extradition,  was  declared  to  be 
a  reproach  to  the  administration  of  justice  for  which  there 
was  no  excuse.  Mr.  Bymal's  motion  was,  howev^er,  voted 
down,  and  for  a  short  time  the  rebellion  in  the  North-west 
passed  from  the  purview  of  the  Dominion  Parliament. 

The  establishment  of  a  Provincial  Government  in  Manitoba, 
wdiich  under  tiic  constitution  had  the  right  to  administer  jus- 
tice, was  used  as  a  means  of  creating  greater  uncertainty  than 
ever  with  regard  to  the  prosecution  of  the  murderers  of  Sct)tt. 
^Vhen  the  otlenec  was  conunitted  on  tiie  4th  of  March,  liS70, 
the  Red  River  settlement  was  under  the  control  of  the 
Hudson's  Bay  Cnmpany.     From  that  time  till  Lord  Wolseley 


lii!   - 


RED/JLLIOX  IX  THE  XOllTII-WEST. 


207 


arrived,  on  tlio  24fch  of  August,  the  provisional  rfovernmont, 
of  which  Riel  was  president,  had  possession  of  the  country. 
When  Governor  Archibald  arrived  ou  the  2nd  of  Soptenibcr, 
the  provincial  constitution  took  effect  and  witii  it  rested  the 
enforcement  of  law  and  order.  When  complaint  was  made 
arjainst  the  Dominion  Government  for  its  inaction,  the  plea 
was  advanced  that  the  Dominion  Government  had  no  jurisdic- 
tion, at  least  after  the  establishment  of  the  Provincial  G<)\ - 
ernment,  and  therefore  could  not  be  held  responsible  for  the 
prosecution  of  Riel  and  his  associates. 

This  defence  did  not,  however,  satisfy  the  people  of  Ontario. 
The  inaction  of  the  Dominion  Government  was  attributed  to 
Quebec  influence  in  the  Cabinet.  For,  as  it  was  put  b}''  Loi"d 
Duticrin  in  one  of  his  official  dei3patclies :  "  Tiie  French  sec- 
tion of  Her  Majesty's  suljects  (althou^'h  in  Canada,  most  of 
them  regret  the  death  of  Scott)  are  united  to  a  man  in  tlie 
opinion  that  the  part  played  by  Riel  in  the  North-West  was 
that  of  a  brave  and  spirited  patriot;  that  it  is  principally  to 
him  and  to  those  who  acted  with  him  that  Manitoba  owes  her 
present  privileges  of  self-government  and  lH,r  parity  of  rank 
and  standing  with  our  sister  Provinces."  It  was  well  known, 
iis  we  have  already  pointed  out,  that  the  Mentis  of  Manitoba 
were  considered  to  have  rights  which  were  not  dul}'' respected, 
and  that  Riel,  in  stirring  up  rebellion,  was  merely  as.-jerting 
his  political  standing  as  a  citi/^en  of  the  Territories. 

On  the  other  hand,  in  Ontario,  Riel  was  looked  upon  us  a 
rebel  against  constituted  authority,  who,  in  the  assertion  of 
his  power,  had  cruelly  and  wantonly  shed  innocent  blood,  and 
that  any  Government  that  condoned  or  })alliated  such  an 
otfence  was  unworthy  of  public  confidence.  So  strong  was 
tlie  feeling  in  Ontario,  that  the  propo.sal  to  ofler  a  reward  of 


'ill! 

'ill 


^mm 


208 


LH'E  OF  rill':  iioy.  alexaxver  Mackenzie. 


s">,()00  for  the  arrest  of  the  murderers  of  Scott,  received  the 
uiuiniiiiou.s  support  of  Loth  sides  of  the  House. 

In  the  iiitantiine,  the  general  election  of  LS72  took  place, 
and  during  the  session  of  1873  the  North- West  troubles  were 
allowed  to  slumber.  Owing  to  the  death  of  ISir  Geo.  Cartier, 
who  was  elected  in  1872  for  Provencher,  on  liis  defeat  in 
Montreal,  that  constituency  became  vacant  and  Kiel  was 
elected  by  acclamation.  Although  a  warrant  was  out  for  ins 
arrest,  he  \\('nt  to  Ottawa  and  signed  the  roll  as  a  member  of 
Parliament.     His  election  took  place  on  the  11th  of  February, 

On  the  :30th  of  March,  1874,  H.  J.  Clark,  Attorney-Gen- 
eral of  Manitoba,  was  examined  at  the  bar  of  the  House 
with  regard  to  the  action  taken  by  jNljinitoba  for  the  prose- 
cution of  Riel  and  Lepine.  Pie  explained  that  the  reason, 
so  far  as  he  knew,  for  tlie  delay  in  arresting  Kiel  was  that 
no  information  had  been  laid  before  a  magistrate  for  his  arrest 
at  an  earlier  date,  that  it  was  not  until  September,  1873,  that 
such  information  was  laid,  that  in  >soveniber  of  the  same  year 
a  bench-warrant  was  issued  from  the  Court  of  Queen's  Bench 
to  the  Sheriff  of  Manitoba,  connnanding  him  to  bring  Kiel 
before  the  saitl  court  to  answer  upon  an  indictment  fouml 
against  him  for  the  murder  of  Thos.  Scott,  and  that  so  far  the 
Sherifi"  had  made  no  return  to  the  bench-warrant.  A  warrant 
was  also  issued  by  the  police  magistrate  of  Ottawa  for  the 
apprehension  of  Kiel,  when  it  became  known  that  he  had 
signed  the  members'  roll,  but  to  no  avail.  On  the  o  1st  of 
March,  Mr.  Powell  moved  that'  Mr.  Kiel  be  ordered  to  attend 
in  his  place  in  the  House  on  the  following  day,  and  as  he  did 
not  appear  he  was,  on  the  IGth  of  April,  by  a  vote  of  12-1  to 
C8,  expelled  from  the  liouse,  and  a  new  writ  issued  for  the 
constituency  wliich  he  represented.  A  special  connnittee  was, 
ut  the  same  session,  apj  ointed   to  enquire   into   the  causes  of 


ni: HELLION  IX  THE  XORTII-]Yi:ST. 


2G9 


the  (lifUcuIties  in  the  North- Woiit  in  18G9-70.  and  to  report 
1 11 'HI  tunc  to  time.  The  report  of  the  committee  was  not 
suljniitted  till  the  22nd  of  May,  and  as  the  House  was  pro- 
roj^Micd  on  the  25th,  it  was  impossible  to  take  any  action  with 
re;,au-d  to  it  that  session. 

The  battle  royal,  in  which  the  whole  of  the  North- West 
troubles  were  reviewed  from  bryinnin*;-  to  end,  opened  in  the 
House  of  Connuons  on  the  1 1th  of  February,  1875,  on  a 
motion  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  to  grant  a  full  amnesty  to  all  per- 
•sons  concerned  in  the  North- West  troubles,  excepting  Riel, 
Lcpinr  and  (JDonoghue.  In  the  case  of  Riel  and  Lepine,  it 
was  proposed  to  grant  an  amnesty,  conditional  upon  five 
years'  banishment  from  the  Queen's  dominions.  /Vs  O'Don- 
oghue  had  placed  himself  at  the  head  of  a  Fenian  invasion, 
it  was  not  considered  that  he  should  come  under  the  same 
conditions  as  Riel  and  Lepine. 

The  question  with  which  Mr.  Macken/cie  had  to  deal  now 
was  beset  with  many  difficulties,  and  was  one  of  the  many 
legacies  of  maladministration  which  had  come  down  to  him 
from  tlie  previous  Government.  It  was  furtiier  complicated 
b}'  the  fact  that  Lepine,  who  was  eipially  involved  with  Riel, 
had  been  arrested  and  convicted  as  a  principal  in  the  murder 
of  Scott,  and  was  lying  in  the  Winnipeg  gaol  under  sen- 
tence of  death.  Public  opinion,  too,  had  been  greatly  excited, 
and  both  creed  and  nationality  were  appealed  to  with  con- 
siderable success.  On  behalf  of  Riel,  it  was  claimed  that  he 
had  been  promised  an  amnesty  without  reservation,  if  he 
would  withdraw  his  o[)position  to  Her  Majesty's  Government, 
and  recognize  the  authority  of  the  Dominion  in  the  North- 
West.  Per  contra,  it  was  urged  that  he  was  a  murderer  and 
a  fugitive  from  justice,  and  that  he  should  pay  with  his  life 
the  penalty  of  his  crimes. 


1 

,..    -aT 

270 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


From  the  evidence  submitted  to  the  special  committoe, 
already  referred  to,  the  promise  of  an  absolute  amnesty  was 
not,  however,  conchisivo,  although  the  evidence  bore  strongly 
in  that  direction.  It  was  shewn  that  Riel  had  rendered  sub- 
stantial service  in  resisting  the  Fenian  invasion  under  O'Don- 
ogliue,  and  that  this  circumstance  should  be  taken  into  con- 
sideration in  dealing  with  his  case.  It  was  on  these  grounds 
that  Mr.  Mackenzie  took  the  middle  course  of  recommen«Jing 
to  the  House  the  resolution  already  referred  to.  In  the  course 
of  the  debate,  several  interesting  circumstances  were  alluded 
to.  First,  it  was  shewn  that  Sir  John  Macdonald  acknowledged 
the  insurrectionary  party  in  Manitoba  by  the  recognition  of 
their  delegates,  Father  Riehot,  Mr.  Black  and  Mr.  Scott — a 
letter  from  Joseph  Howe,  Provincial  Secretary,  fixing  the  time 
and  place  at  which  they  could  meet  Sir  John  Macdonald  ami 
Sir  George  Cartier  in  confidence,  being  proof  of  this.  It  was 
also  shewn,  on  the  evidence  of  Archbishop  Tache,  that  the 
authority  of  Riel,  as  Provisional  President  of  the  settlement, 
was  recognized  by  Sir  George  Cartier,  during  the  interval  be- 
.tween  the  formation  of  the  Provisional  Government  and  the 
arrival  of  the  Lieutenant-Governor.  Both  of  these  circum- 
stancx'S  occurred  after  the  murder  of  Scott. 

The  main  question,  however,  before  the  House  was,  did  th<' 
evidence  submitted  warrant  the  conclusion  that  an  amnesty 
had  been  promised  by  the  previous  Government,  antl  if  so, 
was  it  binding  on  the  pri;seiit  House.  In  a  very  aljle  state 
paper  addressed  to  the  Earl  of  Carnarvon,  Lord  Dufleriu 
discusses,  very  full}',  this  ijuestion.  First,  he  states,  tiiat  in 
his  opinion,  no  claim  To-  !,  luiesty  wouM  lie  on  the  [ilea  that 
Archbishop  Tache  was  empowervd  by  tiie  Imperial  and  the 
Dominion  Govt.aments  to  secure  tiie  tran(|iuillity  of  tlit- 
country  by   the   issues  of  such   ussurances  of    immunity  to 


■■■■rJ 


REBELLION  IX  THE  XORTII-WEST. 


271 


those  concerned  in  the  recent  disturbances  as  he  should  deem 
lit.  Neither  the  written  instructions  he  received  from  Lord 
Lisgar  nor  Sir  John  Macdouald  gave  him  such  authority. 

St'cond,  in  the  interviews  between  Sir  George  Cartier  and 
the  delegates  from  the  North- West,  particularly  Abbe  Richot, 
the  weight  of  testimony  appears  to  be  that  when  Sir  George 
Cartier  spoke  of  an  amnesty,  he  intended  that  term  to  apply 
to  political  offenders,  not  to  those  concerned  in  the  murder  of 
Scott.  To  quote  Lord  Duttcrin's  words :  "  The  tenor  of  hit. 
language  implied  that  if  only  matters  were  peaceably  settled 
in  Rei]  River  and  tlie  population  quietly  submitted  to  the  new 
order  oi  things,  a  settlement  would  ultimately  be  arrived  at, 
satisfactory  to  all  parties."  Third,  to  grant  an  amnesty  on 
the  ground  that  the  Provisional  Govo'nnient  establisiied  by 
Kiel  was  a  lawfully  constituted  government,  was  out  of  the 
question.  The  execution  of  Scott  could  only  be  a  judicial 
execution,  when  ordered  by  a  legitimately  constituted  author- 
ity. 

The  fourth  plea  for  an  iunnesty,  namely,  that  Governor 
Archibald  availed  himself  of  th'  services  of  Riel  and  Lcpine 
in  repelling  the  Fenian  in\;ision  of  1871,  his  Lordsliip  con- 
sidered wurthy  of  earcful  consideration.  His  Lordshij)  re- 
marks: 'The  acceptance  of  such  service  might  be  held,  1  ini- 
ugino,  to  bar  the  prosecution  of  the  offender,  for,  undesirable 
us  it  may  be  that  a  great  criminal  should  go  unpunished,  it 
would  l)e  still  more  [)ernicious  that  the  Goverinuent  of  the 
eouiitry  siiould  show  a  want  of  lidelity  to  its  engagements,  or 
exhiiiit  a  narrow  spirit  in  its  interpretati(jn  of  theni." 

In  replying  to  Lord  Dufferin's  despatch,  from  which  we 
have  already  quoted,  Karl  Carn.nNon  recognises  the  claim  on 
the  clemency  of  tiie  Crown  wiiieh  Kiel  and  JiCpine  established 
for   themselves  iiecause  o\  their  serviees  in    |87l.     Ht.*  said: 


272 


IIFKOF  Tin:  HON.   M.K\A}^DKn  M ACK i:\/.l  11 


"  AlLliouoli  ;i,  iiiui'<li'i\  sudi  as  (liiil,  of  S(:(jtt,  caiiiioL  l)i'  !iII'i\v(m1 
t(j  ^(j  uiipuiiislH-d  oil  tin;  ^Touiiil  tliJit  ifc  was  cinuioclcil  with 
political  (listurliaiiccH,  yet  in  so  far  us  it  ili<l  rr.siilt  iVoiii  politi- 
cal circimistaiiccs,  those  who  WiVf  ;4'iiili_\'  ol"  it  may  In-  i|(;i"iiii(l 
to  liav(!  (■ariicij  a  iiKti-cil'iil  cojisidrrntioii  tliioij^^li  tln-ii' stiKsu- 
(picnt /^ood  s(')'\i(;»;  to  tlx'  State,  and  that  lor  these  .scrviei.'S 
thfii-  lives  should  !»<■  spunMJ.  W'hili'  this  is  tio  <loul)t  the  judicial 
coristl'iictioii  ol"  c\  idi'iicc  i-cporicd  hy  the  special  coininitt'i',  it 
is  (piite  (ivid'iit  I  hat  it  was  not  the  S(!iise  in  which  the  ( iovei'n- 
ineiit  was  understood  either  hy  Ai-c,hl)iHho[>  Tachd  or  hy  ihf  di-le- 
^'ates  i'roMi  the  Provisional  (j(j\'ernnicnl ,  Tliut  the  imia'cssion 
was  left  upon  theii-  mind;,  that  a,  full  and  unconditional  ain- 
iH!sty  wouhl  he  <rraiit<!d  11"  tln^y  reconnjzed  tin;  autlioriiy  of 
the  Dominioti  (lovcrnnienl,  tJiei-c  caiuiot  \n'.  the  sli'-hte'St 
douht  <»n  readiiii^  th(!  e\  idcncc." 

The  Ihird  jioint  of  not<!  is  the  duj)li(;ity  )»ractise(j  hy  the 
Oovei-nmcntorj  th(!  pe(«p|c  of  (Jaiiada  with  re<^a,rd  to  the  arr<'.st 
oF  lliel.  We  have  already  poinUid  (jut  that  until  a  local  <iov- 
ei'nnnnt  was  or^atn/ed  in  Mariitoha,  tin-re  may  have  hecm  some 
(litli(;ulties  in  tin;  way  ol"  an-estin;^  \{'u\  and  L<!pine.  Att'i" 
that,  hoW(!V(*i',  there  shoidd  have  h(!(!n  no  tlilliculty  whatovei'. 
Iust<;ad  of  exercising  his  inlluence  with  th(!  Manitoha  (jovcrn- 
ment  Tor  enrorcin^^,  through  the  Attorney-^icneral,  the  ( Criminal 
Law  of  the  Trovince,  Sir  John  Macdonald  entctnd  into  ne- 
^^'otiutions  with  Anthhishop  Tachd  for  the  r(!tii'emeMt  of  Rid 
from  the  l'i'ovin(!e  of  Manitoha,  for  the  space  of  one  year  and 
l"(jr  his  maintcna,nce  din'in;^;  expal-rial  ion  out  of  the  puMic 
funds  of  Canada, :  and  later  on,  Sii"  (ieorife  (Jartier  arran;(cd, 
in  the  same  way,  lor  the  rctir(!ment  of  FiCpiric  and  the  pay- 
nient  to  him  and  his  family  of  then  maintenance  abroad.  To 
meet  this  expcinditui'e,  the  sum  of  SI. 000  v/as  ti  l<en  (jut  of  th^ 
secret  service  fund,  and  the    inn  of  JCdOO  was  advanced  hy  the 


UKltKIJAON  IX  THE  NORTH  WICST. 


273 


lliiilsiiirs  l»)iy  ^U)U\\);i\\y.  X(jt\viUi.staii<lin;^  lliat  tlicsi;  Jin-:ui<^n;- 
iiiciii-i  wen;  iiiii'h;  ])y  Sir  .loliii  M.'iodonuM  liiiiisnH",  mid,  jxirliaps 
ill  sdiiH'  n'SjMjct,  Iticl'.s  uIj.S(!1ic<j  i'njin  IIk;  (•oiiiiLry  \v;ih  uii  ud- 
v;iiit;ii;<'.  Sir  .^0)111  fontcndcd,  iit  a  incctin;^-  in  I'ctcrhoro',  in 
llic  oriicriil  clfcl-ioii  of  '72,  l,li!i(,  Kill  i-cLir(M|  liccauso  of  tin: 
reward  ofl'cn'd  l»y  tli<5  Oniai-io  ( iovci'iiinciit,  iiiidrr  lilaUu'.s 
|i!ciiiirr.slii|»,  lor  lii.s  arrest.  "Anxious,"  Sir  .Joliii  said,  "to 
\  indicate  tli(;  sacred  cauHo  of  justice,  Mr.  iJlake  issued  a  pro- 
diuiiatioii  ofli-riii;^  a  ri'Wiird  for  tJK!  captui'c  ()f  Kid,  and  now 
this  iiiindcrcr  is  no  loii^ci-  in  fJic  country.  JIc  no  longer 
]in||iil(s  the  soil  of  (Janada  liy  his  prestiuco.  1I<!  is  now  liv- 
iiii:  ill  ])cac(;,  prosperity  anil  comrort  aci-oss  tlu!  JKjrdir,  and, 
HIm'  iiirii  of  liis  stamp,  ready  to  stir  u|t  ariotliei*  I'ow  sliould 
n|i|ioit unity  oiler,  lie  knows  lie  is  sa,re,  thanks  to  Mr.  lJlak(!." 
Ill  li'dit  of  tli(;  fact  that  liiel  Was  livinjx  in  the  United  States 
(111  iiKiiiey  paid  out  of  thi;  seciret  s<;i"vi(!(;  fund  on  Sir  .John 
Macdonald's  own  authority  and  f:*j  his  I'eipie.st,  this  wan  cer- 
tainly an  extraordinary  sjieeeh  to  iiiak(\ 

'I'lion!  I'eniains  Imt  one  other  jioini,  to  Ih;  ronsitlered  and 
thai  a  somewhat  teehiiieal  one  in  this  perpl(;\in^f  case; 
that  is,  fourth  :  How  shoidd  the  cleineiicy  of  the  CVown  i)0 
I'Xerciscil  ?  'I'he  ( Jovernnient  was  takin;(  its  full  share  of  re- 
Hpoiisiliilify  hy  the  ciniise  which,  thi'ou;^di  iMi-.  Ma,eken/.ie's 
rfHoliition,  l'M,i"lia,nienl,  was  ad\ised  to  lake;.  Usually,  the 
( Imernor  (ieneral  can  act  only  accordinir  to  l,he  directions  of 
hi.s  const  itiilional  aiKisers.  in  iJie  insi  ructions  from  lhe(Jol- 
miial  (  mice  up  to  this  time,  hovv(iVer,  the  rin;lit,  to  (ixerc.ise  the 
cli  iiiriicy  <il"  the  (Vown  in  the  case  of  capital  oll'ence.s  was  one 
Kiilcly  Nested  in  the  ( Jo\enior  ( leiieial.  I'^ur  the  maiuiei-  in 
whiih  that  Y\\f}\\j  waH  <jx«jr(:ised,  his  niinisl;ers  were  not  respon- 
:iil»le,  (US  the  (ioviirnor  ( Jeiieial,  under  his  commission  from  the 

(Vdwn,  was  vcHt«'d  with  indc-pendent  utitliority.     In   the  stai-e 
U 


if 


Wmm 


274 


LIFE  OF  THE  II  OX.  A  LEX  AX  UK  li  MACKEXZIE. 


despatcli,  already  refeiTcd  to,  Lord  Dufferin  iuforniol  the 
Colonial  Offico  he  intended  to  act  on  his  own  authority. 

In  communicating  this  view  to  the  Minister  of  Justice,  Lord 
Duti'erin  said  that  "  the  case  had  passed  beyond  the  province 
of  departmental  administration,  and  in  his  opinion  could  bo 
best  dealt  with  under  the  Royal  instructions  which  author- 
ized the  Governor-General,  in  certain  capital  cases,  to  dispense 
with  the  advice  of  his  ministers,  and  to  exercise  the  prerog- 
ative of  the  Crown  according  to  his  independent  judgment 
an  1  on  his  own  personal  responsibility."  He  accordingly 
commuted  the  sentence  of  death  pronounced  upon  Lepine  t  > 
two  years'  imprisonment  and  the  permanent  forfeiture  of  his 
political  rights.  An  amendment  by  Mr.  Mousseau,  proposing 
an  unconditional  amnesty  to  all  concerned  in  tlio  North- West 
troubles,  received  only  23  votes.  Mr.  Mackenzie's  motion  was 
linally  carried  on  a  vote  of  12G  to  50. 

It  has  ah'eady  been  mentioned  that  on  the  IGth  of  April,  J  874, 
Riel  was  formally  expelled  from  the  House.  On  a  new  election 
being  called,  ho  was  re-elected  in  .Septend)er  of  the  same  year. 
On  the  24th  of  February,  1875,  Mr.  Mackenzie  cause<l  to  1m> 
read  before  the  House  theexempliiication  of  the  Judgment  roll 
of  outlawi'Y  pronounced  in  opcni  court  at  Winni[i'  g,  by  M  15. 
Wood,  and  tlieu  moved   that   lliel  be  declared  an  outhiw,  the 


jr--^  "^<^'<^ 


i^^j^  ^ 


effect  of  which  wuuh.l  l)e,(jf  course,  to  vacate  his  scat.     0\ 
adoption  of  this  motion,  the  Speaker  was  directed  to  issue  hi 


113 


m 


REBELLIOX  IX  THE  NO RT II- WEST. 


\v;irrant  for  a  now  election  in  Provenchcr.  In  the  session  of 
1S7G,  Ml*-  Costigan  moved  that  O'Donoghue  be  included  in  the 
amnesty  granted  to  Riel  and  Lepine,  Mr.  Costigan  renewed 
his  motion  in  the  session  of  1877,  but  to  no  purpose. 

The  later  events  in  Kiel's  career  are  dealt  with  in  their 
proper  place.  Suffice  it  here  to  say  tliat  after  fomenting  a 
rebellion  in  1885,  and  putting  the  country  to  an  expense  of 
nearly  $10,000,000,  and  causing  the  loss  of  several  valuable 
lives,  he  was  arrested,  tried  anrl  executed  at  Rogina  on  the 
Kith  of  ^  ,  ember,  1885.  His  execution  was  the  occasion  of 
a  long  debate  in  the  House,  and  of  many  vapid  appeals  to 
i-aco  and  religious  prejudices,  JMr.  Mackenzie  voting  that,  in 
his  opinion,  the  execution  of  this  restless  and  adventurous 
spirit  was  justifiable. 

Now  that  he  lias  passed  from  the  scene,  and  tliat  liis  con- 
duct and  career  have  furnished  so  nnich  political  capital  for 
party  purposes  in  the  Parliaments  of  two  Provinces,  as  well 
as  in  the  House  of  Coinmons,  we  might  reasonably  enquire 
what  were  the  impelling  motives  in  the  agitation  of  which  he 
was  the  central  figure.  So  far  as  he  was  concerned  himself, 
he  was  in  the  first  instance  but  the  embodiment  of  the  feelinix 
of  till'  settlers  of  Red  River  which  he  represented,  and  al- 
though armed  opposition  to  constitutional  Authority  is  not 
recognized  in  modern  times  as  the  proper  w;iy  to  remedy  poli- 
tical grievances,  yet  the  history  of  the  world  shews  that  it  is 
by  no  means  exceptional.  More  than  once,  even  on  this  con- 
tinent, leaders  of  public  opinion  have  become  restless  with  the 
"  law's  delay,"  and  liave  adopted  decisive  remedies.  More  th.in 
out'  gordian  knot  has  been  cut  with  a  sword. 

When  Riel  organized  against  Mr.  MacDougall's  entrance  into 
the  I'rovincG,  he  had  probably  no  intention  of  shedding  blood ; 
but  like  the  other  setth;  's  he  felt  that  if  a  new  LTOvernment 


276 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


took  possession  of  the  country  and  Ijccame  installed  in  power, 
their  grievances  might  be  treated  with  contempt.  He  and  his 
followers  were  in  possession,  and  before  that  possession  was 
surrendered  was  the  time  to  press  their  claims.  Unfortunately 
for  himself  and  for  the  peace  of  Canada,  as  in  the  case  of  many 
others,  h*^  abused  the  power  which  the  settlers  gave  him,  and 
forfeited  the  Byni[)athy  of  all  well-thinking  men. 

The  outrages  which  he  committed  took  place  under  a  Con- 
servative Government.  To  proceed  boldly  and  fearlessly  to 
punish  him  would  Ije  to  condemn  themselves.  The  sympathy 
existing  between  the  French  in  Lower  Canada  and  the  French 
in  Manitoba — for  both  were  of  the  same  stock — restrained 
Sir  John  Macdonald  no  doubt  from  acting  with  the  prompti- 
tude which  the  case  required,  and  particularly  in  dealing  with 
the  chief  offenders  as  their  crimes  warranted.  This  hesi- 
tancy was  at  once  seized  upon  by  many  in  Ontario,  and  by 
none  more  sternly  at  first  than  by  the  Orange  party,  as  a 
ground  for  attack  upon  the  Government.  To  some,  Kiel's 
offence  was  simply  the  murder  of  a  Protestant  Orangeman 
by  a  Roman  Catholic.  To  others,  the  tardiness  of  justice  was 
attributed  to  Sir  John  Macdonald's  desire  to  conciliate  the 
French,  and  the  gauge  of  battle  once  formed  on  this  line,  a 
quasi  war  of  race  and  creed  was  the  inevitable  result.  Even 
in  a  very  recent  campaign  in  the  Province  of  Quebec,  the  gal- 
lows on  which  Kiel  was  hung  was  as  much  a  party  cry  as 
the  "bloody  shirt"  in  American  politics  fifteen  years  ago. 

But  while  this  circumscribed  view  of  the  question  was  the 
prevailing  one  for  a  time,  when  the  committee  appointed  by 
the  House  of  Commons  in  1874  presented  their  report  to  the; 
House  a  larger  view  of  the  question  was  presented.  By 
redressing  many  of  the  grievances  complained  of,  the  Govern- 
ment admitted  they  were   in   the    wrong.     By  using  Kiel's 


REBELLION  IN  THE  NORTII-WE^T. 


services  in  repelling  a  Fenian  invasion,  they  admittod,  murderer 
tliough  he  was,  his  power  in  the  State.  B}^  directing,  in  terms 
too  diplomatic  perhaps  to  be  conclusive  in  a  court  of  law, 
the  men  they  employed  to  pacify  the  settlers,  to  promise  an 
amnesty  to  all  offenders,  they  admitted  the  necessity  for  con- 
ciliation. By  securing  Kiel's  retirement  in  '72  from  his  can- 
didacy in  Provencher  in  favor  of  Sir  George  Carticr,  they 
admitted  his  political  services  to  the  Conservative  party,  and 
by  providing  and  paying  for  his  retirement  from  the  country, 
they  admitted  the  right  of  the  authorities  to  arrest  him  so 
long  as  he  remained  in  Manitoba. 

All  these  circumstances  gave  a  factitious  prominence  toPiiel, 
whicli,  ordinarily,  he  could  not  have  obtained.  It  was  not  his 
fault,  so  much  as  the  fault  of  the  Government,  that  Canada 
was  .so  long  politically  vexed  by  his  conduct  and  his  presence. 
With  the  report  of  the  connnittee  before  him,  Mr.  Mackenzie 
had  but  one  course  open  to  him,  and  that  was  to  take  the  line 
Ijcst  calculated  to  heal  the  national  and  political  sores  caused 
by  his  predecessors,  and  with  strange  ingratitude,  it  appears 
this  course  was  not  supported  by  the  Conservative  party. 

To  pacify  the  whole  Dominion,  was  the  task  to  which  Mr. 
Mackenzie  addressed  himself,  and  that  he  did  it  courageously 
and  successfully,  no  one  will  deny.  Following  the  precedent 
of  the  rebellion  of  1837,  in  Upper  and  Lower  Canada,  and  act- 
ing with  that  regard  for  the  intentions,  however  vaguely  ex- 
pressed, of  the  previous  Government  towards  the  rebels  in  the 
North-Wcst,  he  asked  Parliament  to  interpose  between  those 
who  were  so  ill-advised  as  to  precipitate  a  rebellion,  and  who, 
in  their  recklessness,  sacrificed  human  life. 


CIIArTER  XXI. 
*  » 

RELATIONS    WITH    THE   UNITED    STATES. 

Fishery  Claims— Sir  Jolin  MacdoTiiild  at  Washiiif^ton— The  Washington 
'i'rcaty — Coiiccfisioiis  to  the  United  .States — Tlie  l'\'iiian  and  Alabama  Claima 
—The   Manitoba   Bill— British   C'oliunbia   Enters   Coufederatiuu. 

HE  first  question  of  any  importance  that  cnnaj:;'od 
the  attention  of  the  House  in  the  session  of  1871 
was  the  settlement  of  tlic  iisherics  disputes  be- 
tween Canada  and  the  United  States,  i3y  the 
termination  of  tiie  Reciprocity  Treaty  in  1800,  the 
privileges  of  the  Americans  to  fish  in  Canadian  waters 
ceased,  and  the  treaty  of  1818  was  revived.  In  order  to  avoid 
irritation  with  the  fishermen  of  the  United  States,  and  pcnd- 
inpf  some  settlement  of  other  questions  in  dispute,  it  was 
a^ijreed  between  Canada  and  the  Imperial  authorities  that 
Americans,  on  payment  of  a  license  fee  of  one  dollar,  should 
bo  allowed  to  fish  in  Canadian  waters.  For  a  few  years  the 
license  fee  was  paid,  but  was  gradually  discontinued,  and  the 
Canadian  fisheries  came  to  be  used  as  freely  by  Amcricaus  as 
by  the  people  of  Canada. 

While  the  fishery  question  was  under  the  consideration  of 
the  Imperial  authorities,  attempts  were  also  being  made  to 
settle  with  the  Government  at  Washington  for  the  depre- 
dations committed  by  the  Alabama  during  the  war  which 
had  closed  a  few  years  before ;  and  actinir  on  the  snij^^fcs- 

tiou  of  the  British  Ambassador  at  Washington,  the  Imperial 

278 


im 


RKLATIOXS   WITH  THE  UNITED  STATES. 


279 


iperuil 


(unerniiicnt  appointed  a  comuiission  consisting  of  Earl  de 
Givy,  Sir  Edward  Thornton,  Sir  Staliord  IS'oi-theotc,  Pro- 
fessor Bernard  and  Sir  John  JMacdonald,  to  whom  were  re- 
I'erred  the  Ahibama  chiiins  and  tlio  lisherius  disputes.  The 
wliole  question  was  brought  before  the  House  on  tlie  24th  of 
February,  1S71,  on  a  motion  of  Mr.  Gait  allirming  tlie  import- 
ance of  the  Canadi'iu  fislu-ries  ^;cr  st',  and  particularly  their 
importance  as  a  leverage  in  obtaining  a  moditication  of  tlie 
Ignited  States  commercial  system  in  anv  ne<fotiations  that 
might  be  entered  into  for  better  trade  relations  between  the 
two  countries.  In  th  j  discussion  which  followed,  Mi-.  ^lac- 
kcnzie  urged  upon  the  Government  very  strongly  the  pi-opriety 
of  securing  compensation  for  the  losses  caused  by  the  F(!nian 
raids,  inasmuch  as  such  losses  were  on  a  par  willi  the  alleged 
injuiy  done  to  the  United  States  by  the  Alabama.  lie  also 
endeavored  to  protect  the  country'  against  any  compromise 
that  would  prejudice  the  rights  of  Canada.  British  diploma- 
ti.sts,  as  he  pointed  out  in  a  former  debate,  were  too  apt  to 
sacrifice,  either  from  ignorance  or  indillbrence,  Canadian 
interests  to  Imperial  i)olicy.  No  doubt  it  was  an  advantage 
to  the  whole  empire  to  avoid  war  with  the  United  States,  and 
reasonable  concessions  were  legitimate  to  avert  such  a  calamity. 
At  the  same  time,  the  value  of  her  fisheries  to  Canada  could 
not  be  over-estimated.  They  were  tiie  nur.series  of  her 
Seamen  ;  they  formed  a  large  part  of  her  natunil  wealth  ;  and 
gave  employment  to  thousands  of  her  people.  To  surrender 
the  advantages  they  ali'orded  without  a  full  equivalent  must 
not  be  thought  of. 

Sir  John  Masdonald  left  for  Washington  on  the  27th  of 
February  as  a  member  of  the  joint  high  commission,  and  on 
tlie  Sth  of  May  the  agreement  known  us  the  Washington 
Treaty  was  signed  by  the  cepro.scntatives  of  Gi'eat  Britain  and 


i 

1 

*' 

1 

280 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


the  United  States.  Although  Sir  John  Macdonald  was  no 
doubt  appointed  because  of  his  position  as  Premier  of  Canada, 
and  of  his  distinction  as  a  leading  statesman,  he  was  in  reality 
an  Imperial  Commissioner ;  and  although  he  may  have  been 
intended  as  the  interpreter  of  Canadian  opinion,  he  was  liable 
to  be  overborne  by  his  colleagues  representing  Great  Britain. 
At  all  events,  the  Washington  Treaty  as  finally  agreed  upon 
was  a  surrender  of  many  Canadian  interests  for  which  Sir 
John  Macdonald  was  responsible — as  the  debate  in  the  House 
clearly  showed. 

The  first  point  on  which  the  Government  was  challenged  in 
comiection  with  the  treaty  was  the  abandonment  of  the  Cana- 
dian claims  in  regard  to  the  Fenian  raids,  and  an  Imperial 
guarantee  of  an  uncertain  loan  to  Canada  accepted  in  lieu 
thereof.  In  the  discussion  which  took  place  on  this  phase  ot" 
the  question,  the  words  used  by  Mr.  Blake  as  being  exceed- 
ingly apt  may  be  quoted.  He  said  :  "  Shall  we  allow  American 
citizens  to  drill,  organise,  parade,  and  call  for  subscriptions 
and  to  arrange  for  the  invasion  of  a  friendly  power  ?  These 
were  questions  which  in  their  magnitude  entirely  overbore 
the  simple  question  of  money-loss  in  the  past ;  and  to  say 
that  it  was  not  to  be  settled  at  the  same  time  and  under  the 
same  circumstances  in  which  the  United  States  were  present- 
ing their  claims  with  reference  to  the  Alabama  was  certainly 
most  extraordinary." 

The  defence  of  tiie  Government  to  ]\Ir.  Blake's  arcfumenb 
was  exceedingly  weak.  Even  at  the  time  the  treaty  was 
under  discussion  the  Fenian  organisation  had  not  been  dis- 
banded. To  admit  practically  that  the  United  States 
Government  was  not  responsible  for  their  depredations 
was,  in  effect,  to  encourage  their  continuation,  and  was 
very    dift'orent    from    the    provisions    of    the    treaty    with 


RELATIONS  WITH  THE  UNITED  STATES. 


2Sl 


reference  to  the  Alabama  claims.  Who  was  responsible  for 
the  surrender  of  Canadian  rights?  was  the  question  asked.  If 
Sir  John  Macdonald  was  in  any  sense  the  guardian  of  Canadian 
interests,  then  why  did  he  not  carry  out  the  wishes  of  the 
CanaJian  people  ?  If  it  was  Imperial  policy  that  Canada 
should  be  sacrificed,  where  was  the  evidence  that  he  had 
protested  against  such  a  sacrifice  ?  To  these  ([uestions  the 
answers  were  very  unsatisfactory. 

Objection  was  also  taken  to  the  inequality  of  advantage  in 
conceding  to  the  Americans  the  free  navigation  of  the  St. 
Lawrence  in  perpetuity  for  the  navigation  of  Lake  Michigan 
for  a  period  of  ten  years.  It  was  also  pointed  out  that  the  mode 
of  providing  compensation  to  Canada  for  the  use  of  her  fish- 
eries by  the  Americans  was  uncertain  ;  and  that,  judging  from 
the  past,  it  might  result  in  very  little  advantage  to  Canada. 
Then,  questions  that  would  naturally  arise  in  the  future  were 
left  unsettled.  No  definition  was  given  of  what  was  intended 
by  the  Treaty  of  1818,  with  regard  to  headlands,  and  no  etlbrt 
appeared  to  have  been  made  to  obtain  any  equivalent  in  mat- 
ters of  trade  for  the  concessions  contained  in  the  Treaty.  The 
settlement  of  the  San  Juan  boundary,  so  long  in  dispute,  was 
left  to  the  arbitrament  of  the  Emperor  of  Germany,  who, 
unfortunately,  as  was  expected,  decided  against  Canada. 

The  debate  was  carried  on  from  the  8th  till  the  IGth  of  May, 
and  was  closed  by  an  able  speech  from  Mr.  Mackenzie,  in  which 
he  reviewed  the  arguments  of  the  preceding  speakers,  and  in 
summing  up  the  whole  question,  appealed  to  the  House  to 
vindicate  the  honor  of  the  country  and  to  insist  upon  a  due 
recognition  of  Canadian  rights.  But,  in  spite  of  all  the  efibrts 
of  the  Opposition,  the  Tieaty  was  agreed  to  on  a  vote  of 
121  to  55. 

An  importani  discussion  took   place   with    regard    to    the 


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282 


LIF/.':  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


power  which  the  British  North  Ainei'ica  Act  conferred  upon 
the  House  of  Coiinnons  in  the  establishment  of  new  provinces 
in  tlio  North-West  Territories.  When  the  Manitoba  bill  was 
before  the  House,  the  previous  session,  Mr.  Mills  expressed  the 
view  that  a  new  provincial  government  could  only  be  organised 
by  Imperial  Act.and  therefore  the  bill  establishing  the  Province 
of  Manitoba  Wixi^ultra  vires  of  the  Parliament  of  Canada.  The 
question  was  considered  by  the  Government  during  recess,  and 
the  conclusion  reached  that  Mr.  Mills  was  sound  in  his  conten- 
tion. Accordingly,  in  the  session  of  1871,  the  House  was 
asked  to  approve  of  a  draft  bill  for  Manitoba,  preliminary 
to  its  submission  to  the  Imperial  Parliament,  and  further  to 
amend  the  British  North  America  Act  so  as  to  empower  the 
Canadian  Parliament  to  make  such  provisions  for  the  organi- 
sation of  other  provinces  thereafter,  as  they  might  deem 
expedient. 

Confederation  is  growing  npacc.  In  1870,  Manitoba  was 
carved  out  of  the  great  Norlh-West  Territories  ;  and  now  in 
1871,  Parliament  is  asked  to  consider  a  bill  for  the  admission 
of  Biitish  Columbia  into  the  union.  To  the  Liberal  party,  the 
extonsion  of  Confederation  was  always  a  source  of  pleasure. 
They  were,  however,  bound  to  sec  that  the  enlargement  of  the 
Dominion  was  not  accompanied  by  such  conditions  as  would  be 
unjust  to  the  other  provinces  or  involve  linancial  obligations 
burdensome  to  the  treasury.  The  terms  made  with  British 
Columbia  were  even  more  objectionable  in  many  respects  than 
the  concessions  of  the  Washington  Treaty.  Although  the 
white  population  of  the  colony  was  estimated  at  only  10,000, 
they  were  to  be  allowed  six  representatives  in  the  House  of 
Connuons  and  three  in  the  Senate.  The  Coveriunent  of  the 
Dominion  was  to  commence  within  two  years  of  the  date  of  the 
union,  and  to  complete  within  ten  years  of  the  same  period,  a 


RELATIOXS  WITH  Tilt:  UNITED  STATES. 


283 


raiiroatl  from  the  Pacific  coast  to  connect  with  the  Canadinn 
system  of  raih'oads.  Tlioy  were  to  maintain  an  eflicicnt  mail 
service  fortnightly  between  Victoria  and  San  Francisco.  They 
Wire  to  pay  $100,000  a  year  for  hinds  to  be  ceded  to  the 
Crc.vn  in  aid  of  the  construction  of  the  Canadian  Pacific 
Railway.  And  they  were  to  guarantee  the  interest  on  £100,000 
sterling,  for  ten  years  after  its  completion,  for  an  efficient 
graving-dock  at  Escjuimalt,  and  also  to  provide  pensions  for 
such  officers  in  the  service  of  the  British  Columbia  Govern- 
ment as  might  lose  their  positions  on  account  of  the  Union. 

When  the  resolutions  were  submitted  to  the  House  it  was 
pointed  out  with  great  force  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  that  they 
imposed  burden:-  far  beyond  the  resources  of  the  Dominion, 
particularly  the  obligations  assumed  with  respect  to  the  con- 
struction of  the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway,  lie  proposed  an 
aniLudment  to  the  Government's  scheme  that  so  far  as  the 
lailway  was  concerned,  "  Canada  should  not  bo  pledged  to  do 
more  than  proceed  at  once  with  the  necessary  survey,  and 
after  the  route  is  determined,  to  prosecute  the  work  as  rapidly 
as  the  state  of  the  finances  would  justify."  Various  other 
amendments  to  the  same  effect  were  proposed,  but  to  no  avail. 
The  scheme  had  to  be  accepted  in  its  entirety  or  rejected  ;  and 
accepted  it  was,  with  all  the  tremundous  obligations  which  it 
involved. 

In  dealing  with  the  admission  of  British  Columbia  to  Con- 
federation, the  Liberal  party  was  placed  in  the  same  dilemma 
as  when  dealinu"  with  the  "  better  terms"  for  Nova  Scotia. 
On  the  one  hand,  they  M^ero  confronted  with  an  agreement 
made  by  the  Government,  of  a  startling  character — an  agree- 
ment which  has  ailded  nearly  8100,000,000  to  the  national 
debt ;  or  an  animal  outlay  of  interest  alone  of  $4,000,000. 
Ou  the  other  haml,  it  was  all  but  certain  that  the  sui^porteis 


FM 


«|iii 


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284 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


of  the  Government  would  assume  the  responsibilities  of  the 
terms  proposed  with  British  Cohimbia  if  the  opposite  course 
would  involve  the  defeat  of  the  Government.  To  oppose 
the  terms  of  admission  would  be  construed  by  the  British 
Columbians  as  opposition  to  themselves  ;  and  they  would 
therefore,  as  a  matter  of  course,  ally  themselves  with  the 
party  in  power.  It  was  in  vain  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  avowed 
himself,  both  in  the  resolutions  he  moved  and  in  the  speeches 
he  delivered,  a  supporter  of  the  admission  of  British  Col- 
umbia on  reasonable  terms.  The  sentimental  appeal  which 
the  Ministerialists  made  to  the  House  for  the  extension  of  the 
XJn'.on  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific  was  stroncjer  than  the 
voice  of  reason.  To  say  that  the  Union  would  be  imperilled 
by  the  weighty  burdens  which  it  was  about  to  assume  was 
construed  into  want  of  confidence  in  the  Dominion  ;  although 
wheTi  the  Committee  rose  and  reported  the  resolutions  to  the 
Speaker  of  the  House,  every  one  felt  that  a  serious  step  had 
been  taken,  the  consequences  of  which  were  not  fully  realised. 

The  Liberal  party  made  very  strenuous  efforts  during  the 
session  of  1871  to  reform  thn  election  laws.  The  old  practice 
of  holding  the  elections  first,  in  constituencies  favorable 
to  the  party  in  power,  with  a  view  to  infiuenco  doubtful  con- 
stituencies, was  very  objectionable.  It  was  proposed  that 
there  should  be  one  polling  day  for  the  whole  Dominion,  except 
in  a  few  outlying  districts  ;  but  this  was  rejected.  Then  it  was 
proposed  that  the  elections  should  bo  held  on  the  same  day 
in  each  of  the  provinces.  This  also  was  rejected.  An  effort 
to  introduce  vote  by  ballot  was  successfully  resisted  by  the 
Government,  as  was  also  a  proposition  to  try  contested  elections 
before  the  judges. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  efforts  on  behalf  of  the  Liberal  party  during 
the  session   of   1871   greatly  increased  the  confidence  of  the 


"  i 


RELA  TIONS  WITH  THE  UNITED  STA  TES. 


285 


country  in  his  ability  as  a  leader.  His  intimate  knowledge  of 
the  extent  of  our  trade  with  the  United  States  and  of  the 
manner  in  which  our  trade  relations  would  be  affected  by  the 
Washington  Treaty  showed  how  thoroughly  he  had  studied  the 
whole  question,  while  his  determination  not  to  sacrifice  the 
rights  of  Canada  for  a  mere  temporary  adjustment  of  our 
difficulties  was  a  proof  of  those  qualities  of  statesmanship 
which  have  made  England  strong  in  the  Councils  of  Europe. 
The  surest  way,  he  contended,  by  which  to  establish  permanent 
friendly  relations  with  the  United  States,  or  with  any  people, 
was  to  insist  firmly,  but  reasonably,  on  the  rights  of  Canada. 
Any  other  course  was  an  invitation  to  encroachment  in  the 
future,  should  any  difficulties  arise.  The  true  spirit  of  nation- 
ality, he  said,  could  never  be  developed  by  a  craven  sub- 
u3ission  to  injustice. 


CHAPTER   XXII. 


MR.   MACKEXZIt;   AND    PIIOVINCIAL   POLITICS. 

Mr.  IMackenzie  Elected  for  West  Middlesex.— Dcfrat  of  the  Sandfield- 
Mauilonald  Administration. — Mackenzie  a  Member  of  the  New  Government. 
— His  Position  in  Local  Politics. — Speech  as  Provin.lal  Treasurer, — Dual 
Representation  Abolished.— His  Choice  of  the  Commons, 


^-^^N  order  to  fjivc  color  to  tlic  "  no-party  "  cry  on  which 
W(j      Sir  John  MacJonald  was  appealinn-  to  the  country' 
'^^l      in  18G7,  he  secured  i'or  the   Hon,  John   Sandfield 
ra^*^      Macdonald,  a  well-known  Liberal,  the  appointment 
^  of  Premier  of  Ontario,  it  being  well  understood   be- 

tween them  that  a  coalition  Government  would  be 
formed  for  the  Province  of  Ontario,  and  that  both  should 
appeal  for  support  on  the  same  "  no-party  "  cry.  The  object 
of  this  arrangement  was  to  divide  the  Liberal  party,  Mr. 
Sandfield  Macdonald  expecting  that  with  the  aid  of  his  Liberal 
colleagues.  Wood  and  Richards,  he  would  carry  the  Liberals  of 
the  Province  ;  while  his  Conservative  colleagues,  Carling  and 
Cameron,  would  swing  the  Conservatives  into  line.  This 
move  which  was  to  benefit  himself,  was  also  to  be  of  service  to 
Sir  John  Macdonald. 

For  a  time,  the  leadership  of  the  Opposition  was  entrusted 
to  Mr.  Archibald  McKellar,  the  sturdy  member  for  Kent. 
But  before  the  first  session  expired,  it  became  quite  evi- 
dent that  Mr.  Edward  Blake,  who  represented  West  Durham  in 
the  House  of  Commons,  and  South  Bruce  in  the  Lesfislativo 

Assembly,  was  the  foi-cmost  member  of  the  House  on  either 

286 


r 


1 


stcd 

evi- 

in  in 
itivc 
thor 


L   '^"'1^1 


Hon.  Edward  Blake. 


ill 


MR.  MACKENZIE  AND  PROVINCIAL  POLITICS.  289 


side,  and  entitled  to  the  first  place  in  the  Liberal  ranks.  He 
was  accordingly  elected  leader,  and  entered  with  great  energy 
on  the  discharge  of  his  duties.  It  is  but  fair  to  the  Govern- 
ment to  say  that  it  was  economical  and  progressive.  Mr. 
Sandfield  Macilonald  was  not  a  statesman,  althou;Th  a  good 
administrator.  He  was  a  man  of  quick  business  habits,  tenaci- 
ous and  aggressive,  and  always  repelled,  with  great  vigor,  the 
attacks  of  his  opponents.  By  his  economy,  he  accumulated  a 
large  surplus.  How  to  invest  this  surplus  in  such  a  way  as  to 
meet  the  necessities  of  the  people,  and  develop  the  resources  of 
the  Province,  was,  apparently,  the  worthy  purpose  to  which  he 
applied  himself.  With  the  character  of  these  investments  no 
fault  can  be  found  ;  for  instance,  the  establishment  of  the  Agri- 
cultural College,  the  Institute  for  the  Blind,  the  Institute  for 
the  Deaf  and  Dumb,  the  Central  Prison,  the  erection  of  new 
asylums,  aiid  the  granting  of  aid  to  railroads  were  all  com- 
mendable, and  in  harmony  with  Liberal  ideas.  But,  when  it 
appeared  that  these  institutions  were  distributed  as  rewards 
for  political  support,  that  his  scheme  for  aiding  railroads  was 
likely  to  be  used  for  a  similar  purpose,  and  when,  above  all, 
.  Appeared  that  his  influence  as  a  Liberal  was  used  to  keep 
i  ohn  Macdonald  in  power,  the  revolt  of  the  Liberal  party 
dgainst  his  Government  was  complete. 

Although  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald  claimed  to  bo  a  Reform- 
er, except  in  one  or  two  instances  he  conducted  the  Govern- 
ment of  Ontario  after  the  most  approved  Tory  methods.  "When 
it  was  pointed  out  that  several  members  of  Parliament  held 
offices  which  necessarily  attected  their  independence,  he 
declined  to  make  a  change,  and  called  upon  his  supporters 
to  vote  do"/n  any  resolution  having  that  object  in  view. 
When  Mr.  Blake's  resolutions  respecting  the  "  better  terms  " 
to  Nova  Scotia  were  before  the  Uouse,  his  tactics  remind 
9 


I 


f 


'2dJ 


IJF/J  OF  THE  IIOX.  Al  EX  AX  UK  I!  MACKENZIE. 


It 


one  forcibly  of  Sir  John  MacdonaM's  course  with  ref-aiv! 
to  tlio  report  of  Mr.  Brown's  committee  recommendino-  a 
fdtloration  of  the  Provinces.  The  rcsohitions  were  thirteen 
in  number.  What  is  called  in  Parliamentary  practice  the 
six  months'  hoist  was  moved  by  the  Government  to 
c&cii  of  them.  On  coming  to  the  thirteenth,  the  House  re- 
fused to  follow  the  leader  of  the  Government,  and  the  six 
months'  hoist  was  voted  down.  The  House  then  divided  as  to 
whether  the  resolutions  should  be  adopted  ;  and  Mr.  Sandficld 
Macdonald  and  his  Government,  who  a  few  moments  before 
hail  voted  for  the  six  months'  hoist,  supported  this  resolution, 
which  was  to  the  effect  that,  "  in  the  opinion  of  this  House, 
the  interests  of  the  country  require  such  legislation  as  may 
remove  all  color  for  the  assumption  by  the  Parliament  of 
Canada  of  the  power  to  disturb  the  financial  relations  estab- 
lished by  the  Union  Act  as  between  Canada  and  the  several 
Provinces." 

The  murder  of  Scott  which  had  occurred  the  year  before  was 
also  made  to  do  duty  in  the  Local  election.  Mr.  Thos.  Scott 
was  a  citizen  of  Ontario.  A  year  had  passed  since  the  sad 
event  of  his  death,  and  little  or  nothing  had  been  done  to 
bring  the  offenders  to  justice.  To  ask  a  Legislature  to  express 
an  opinion  upon  a  question  beyond  its  own  constitutional  lim- 
itation is,  as  a  rule,  inadvisable.  The  House  of  Conunons  has 
(m  several  occasions  volunteered  its  advice  to  the  Imperial 
Parliament,  notably  on  Home  Ruh;,  and  on  the  Disestablish- 
ment of  the  Irish  church  ;  but  the  tendering  of  such  advice 
neither  added  to  its  intiuence  with  the  Imperial  Government 
nor  to  its  usefulness  as  a  delilierative  body.  Both  parties  in 
the  House  of  Commons  and  Local  Legislature  have  occasion- 
"ally  indulged  in  similar  kite-flying  with  very  indifferent  results, 

Mr.   Blake's  resolution  with  regard  to  the  murder  of  Scott 


Mli    MACKEXZIE  AND  PROVINCIAL  POLITICS. 


291 


s  Ifii'gely  sentimental.  lie  asked  the  Iluuse  .slinpi y  to  say 
that  "  the  cold-blooded  murder  for  his  out-spoken  loyalty  to 
the  Queen  of  Thos.  Scott,  lately  a  resident  of  tliis  Province, 
and  an  emigrant  thence  to  the  North- West,  has  impressed  this 
House  with  a  deep  feeling  of  sorro\y  and  indignation  ;  and  in 
the  opinion  of  this  House,  every  etfort  should  be  made  to 
bring  to  trial  the  perpetrators  of  this  great  crime,  who  o,s  yet 
yo  unwhipped  of  justice  ;  and  that  an  humble  address  be  pre- 
sented to  His  Honor,  the  Lieutenant-Governor,  embodying 
this  resolution,  and  praying  him  to  take  such  steps  as  may  be 
best  calculated  to  forward  its  viuws."  The  Government,  in 
resisting  Mr.  Blake's  resolution,  took  the  ground,  while  ex- 
pressing their  sympathy  with  the  untimely  fate  of  their 
countryman,  "  that  it  would  be  unwise  and  inexpedient  to  in- 
terfere with  the  prerogative  v.'hich  properly  belongs  to  another 
Government,  and  to  discuss  a  question  over  which  this  House 
has  no  control."  This  was  the  only  ground  which  the 
Government  could  take.  To  accept  Mr.  Blake's  motion  would 
be  to  act  contrary  to  the  course  of  the  Dominion  Government ; 
and  this  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonaldand  his  Tory  allies  could  not 
conveniently  do,  as  they  were  looking  to  Ottawa  for  support  in 
the  general  election,  then  pending.  How  far  Mr.  Blake's  reso- 
lution was  helpful  to  the  Liberal  part}',  it  is  hard  to  say.  It  is 
])os^ible  in  some  counties  it  secured  for  the  Liberal  candidate 
a  few  votes.  But  its  effect  over  the  v.  hole  held  of  Ontario 
politics  is  believed  to  have  been  tritiing. 

Objection  was  taken  to  Mr.  Sandtield  Macdonald's  Govern- 
ment because  it  frequently  asked  Parliameat  to  place  in  its 
hands,  unconditionally,  the  expenditure  of  public  moneys. 
More  than  once  the  estimates  contained  a  largo  item  for  the 
erection  of  public  buildings  and  asylums  ;  and  when  the  House 
enquired  where  such  buildings  were  to  be  located,  the  Govern- 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


iii:ii 


n 


ill 


11 


menfc  invariably  refused  an  ansv.'er.  The  Liberals  saw  in  this 
attitude  of  the  Government  two  very  objectionable  features — 
First,  Parliament  and  not  the  ExecuMve  should  determine, 
finally,  the  location  of  public  buildings.  Secondly,  trading  in 
the  location  of  public  buildings  for  political  purposes  tended  to 
the  debasement  of  constituencies.  This  was  clearly  seen  from 
Gome  of  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's  speeches,  as  well  as  from 
the  speeches  of  some  of  his  colleagues.  Speaking  in  South 
Ontario,  he  said  :  "  We  promised  them  that  the  next  session 
there  would  be  the  biggest  fight  they  ever  saw  in  this  country 
when  they  came  to  expend  $2,000,000  at  the  credit  of  the 
Government,  and  no  doubt  South  Ontario  would  like  to  get 
some  of  that  money."  At  Hamilton  he  suggested  that  if  the 
people  had  any  "  axes  to  grind,"  they  had  better  support  the 
Government.  Mr.  M.  C.  Cameron,  his  Provincial  Secretary, 
assured  the  people  of  Belleville  that  they  obtained  the  Deaf 
and  Dumb  Institute  as  a  reward  for  their  political  support.  In 
the  same  way,  counties  were  divided  for  registration  purposes 
and  new  registry  offices  opened  with  a  view  to  aid  the  Govern- 
ment candidates.  The  imitation  of  Ottawa  methods  was  per- 
fect, as  far  as  it  went.  Happily  for  the  people  of  Ontario,  as 
Mr.  Mackenzie  said  in  one  of  his  speeches,  "  such  miserable, 
pettifogging,  peddling  practices  "  were  checked  by  the  defeat 
of  the  Sandfield  Macdonaid  Government. 

The  main  issue  of  the  election,  however,  turned  on  a  resolu- 
tion, moved  by  Mr.  Blake,  with  regard  to  the  distribution  of 
tne  surplus  and  the  mode  of  aiding  railways.  Under  an  Act 
of  the  old  Legislative  Assembly  of  Canada,  municipalities  were 
allowed  to  borrow  money  from  a  fund  called  the  Municipal 
Loan  Fund,  set  apart  by  the  Government  for  public  improve- 
ments, such  as  roads,  bridges,  harbors,  and  public  buildings. 
The  facility  which  this  fund  aliorded  for  obtaining  money  at 


MR.  MACKENZIE  AND  PROVINCIAL  POLITICS. 


293 


a  lo-w  rate  of  interest,  and  the  influence  used  with  the  Govern- 
ment of  the  day  to  postpone  the  payment  of  principal  or 
interest,  in  some  cases  involved  many  municipalities  in  debt 
far  beyond  their  ability  to  repay  the  amount  borrowed.  The 
Liberal  party  contended  that  any  scheme  for  the  distribution 
of  the  surplus  which  did  not  consider  the  condition  of  the 
indebted  municipalities,  would  not  meet  with  the  approval  of 
the  country.  As  will  be  seen,  the  resolution  also  struck  a 
death-blow  at  the  distribution  of  railway  aid  on  the  authority 
of  the  Executive,  as  to  the  railways  proposed  to  be  aided. 
The  Liberal  party  called  upon  the  country  to  vindicate  the 
right  of  Parliament  to  be  consulted  with  regard  to  the  great 
public  interests  involved,  and  particularly  to  restrain  the 
Government  from  using  the  tremendous  influence  which  the 
granting  of  railway  subsidies  on  its  own  authority  would 
place  In  its  hands  for  political  purposes. 

When  the  Liberal  policy  was  placed  before  the  electors, 
and  when  it  was  shown  that  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's 
Government  was  in  practice,  at  all  events,  no  longer  a  coalition, 
but  a  feeble  imitation  of  its  Ottawa  prototype,  the  Liberals 
had  no  difficulty  in  deciding  what  course  to  take.  And 
with  Mr.  Blake  as  leader,  they  entered  upon  the  campaign 
with  unbounded  enthusiasm. 

The  west  I'iding  of  Middlesex  is  geographically,  contiguous 
to  Lambton,  the  county  represented  by  Mr.  Mackenzie 
in  the  House  of  Commons,  and  the  electors  of  that  riding  were 
intimately  acquainted  with  Mr.  Mackenzie's  parliamentary 
career.  Many  of  them  had  heard  him  on  the  platform  in  his 
own  county  as  he  defended  the  policy  of  his  party,  or  as  he 
exposed  the  weaknesses  of  his  opponents,  and  were  deeply 
impressed  with  his  courage,  honesty  and  ability.  When  his 
name  was  mentioned,  therefore,  as  a  possible  candidate,  the 


iiili'illl 


1^^    V 


III 


fP 


W^m 


294 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


tTniTi 


II 


fjeneral  enrjuiry  was,  would  he  accept  the  nomination^  To 
insure  his  doing  so,  a  convention  was  called  and  a  requisi- 
tion immediately  circulated  inviting  him  to  take  the  field.  In 
tlie  course  of  a  few  days,  1,300  signatures  were  obtained 
to  the  requisition,  and  if  he  would  only  allow  himself  to  be 
placed  in  the  fieid,  the  Liberal  party  were  assured  of  an 
easy  victory.  Although  much  gratified,  as  he  said  in  his  ad- 
dress, by  their  appreciation  of  his  public  services  so  amply 
sustained  by  such  a  large  requisition,  he  was  by  no  means 
anxious  to  Ito  a  candidate.  The  House  of  Commons  was  in 
session,  and  his  duties  as  leader  of  the  Opposition  demanded 
all  his  time  and  strength.  To  the  great  delight,  however,  of 
the  Liberal  party  in  the  west  riding  of  M'-ldlesex,  and  under 
a  deep  sense  of  his  duty  to  his  country,  he  waived  all  personal 
considerations,  and  entered  upon  the  contest  with  an  energy 
which  evoked  the  heartiest  co-operation  of  his  friends.  In 
his  address  to  the  electors  he  said :  "  Having  no  personal 
object  to  gratify,  I  engage  in  this  contest  solely  for  public 
and  political  reasons,  and  to  assist  as  far  as  my  humble 
efforts  can  do  a  return  to  sound  constitutional  principles  of 
government.  The  present  Government  of  Ontario  has  been 
from  the  first  the  mei'e  creature  of  the  Dominion  Govern- 
ment, existing  by  its  sufferance  and  subject  to  its  control. 
Formed  on  the  same  pretended  "  no-party  "  principle  as  thr 
Ottawa  Government,  it  has  established  its  right  to  be  classed 
with  it  in  its  status  of  political  morality.  The  Government 
openly  avows  its  intention  to  locate  public  buildings  and 
public  works  where  it  received  the  greatest  amount  of 
parliamentary  support.  Such  pnietices  and  such  avowals 
(ire,  however,  the  natural  result  of  a  coalition  of  men  in  a 
Government  holding  tliHerent  political  opinions  and  iiaving 
no  common  object  in  view  but  their   retention  of  ofiice.     In 


MR.  MACKENZIE  AXD  PliOVIXCIAL  POLITICS. 


295 


my  opinion,  no  more  shameless  admission  could  be  made 
by  any  Government,  and  this  alone  should  secure  its  con- 
demnation by  the  electors  of  the  country.  It  shall  be  my 
earnest  endeavor  and  desij-e  to  secure  a  return  to  a  correct 
a  huinistrative  system  and  the  supremacy  of  parliamentary 
purity  and  conlroL" 

Mr.  Sandfieid  Macdonald  was  determined  that  the  country 
slioulil  not  be  allowed  much  time  in  which  to  criticise  the  policy 
of  his  Administration  ;  and  so  without  warning-,  and  contrary 
to  expectation,  tm  House  was  dissolved  and  the  general  elec- 
tion fxed  for  the  21st  day  of  March,  1871.  Mr.  Mackenzie 
accepted  the  nomination  on  the  5th  of  March,  and  the  task  of 
making  himself  known  to  his  new  constituents  was  limited 
to  fifteen  days.  Under  ordinary  circumstances,  to  canvass  >\ 
large  constituency  in  two  weeks  is  no  easy  matter.  Owing  to 
the  early  breaking  up  of  winter  and  the  unimproved  comlition 
of  many  of  the  roads  at  that  time,  the  task  ^vas  doubly  diffi- 
cult. Nevertheless,  mounted  on  horseback,  with  a  trusty 
Liberal  as  his  guide,  he  canvassed  the  riding  from  one  end  to 
the  other,  holding  two  meetings  a  day,  organising  the  party 
and  making  havoc  of  his  opponents  v.herever  he  met  them. 
Never  was  lie  more  vigorous,  more  buoyant  or  perhaps  more 
successful.  Ue  was  received  evei'ywhere  with  the  greatest 
enthusiasm.  His  straightforwardness,  his  wonderful  grasp  of 
evciy  (pivstion  discussed,  his  incisiveness  and  lucidity  as  a 
speakei',  iiupressed  the  electors  as  they  were  never  impressed 
liel'ore.  In  vain  did  his  opponent,  Mr.  Currie,  struggle  to  stem 
ll'.e  tide  "f  excitcmi'nt.  He  called  meetings  iri  onler  to  vin- 
dicate  his  course  in  Parliament;  but  his  own  meetings  were 
tianod  against  him  by  Mr.  Mackeii/ie,  and  many  Tories 

"  Who  came  to  sooll  remained  to  pray." 


llUil! 


:     i!  I 


296 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


His  victory  was  decisive,  and  was  both  a  personal  and  a  party 
triumph.  To  the  party,  it  was  a  constituency  wrested  from 
the  enemy.  To  Mr.  Mackenzie,  himself,  it  was  an  expression 
of  confidence  in  the  integrity  of  his  career  and  his  usefulness 
in  the  public  service. 

The  result  of   the  general  election  was  very  satisfactory  to 
the  Liberal  party.     The   estimate  made  by  the    Globe  on  the 
day  following  the  election  was  as  follo\  s : 
Ministerial  members  returned,  32. 
Opposition  members,  41, 

Independents,  7,  with  Addiiigton  and  Alo^oma  to  hear  from. 
Many  of  the  leading  Liberals  were  returned  by  large  ma- 
jorities, and  it  was   quite  evident   that  the  sentiment  of  the 
country  was  against  the  Administration. 

Parliament  was  called  for  the  despatch  of  business  on 
the  7th  of  December,  1871,  Mr.  R.  W.  Scott  being  elected 
Speaker.  It  was  quite  evident  from  the  excitement  in  the 
lobbies  and  the  anxiety  depicted  on  the  faces  of  the  members 
of  the  ( lovernment,  that  a  great  political  struggle  was  pending. 
On  the  11th,  the  battle  began  on  a  motion  by  Mr.  Blake, 
expressing  regret  at  the  action  taken  by  the  Legislative 
Assembly,  during  the  previous  session,  under  the  guidance  of 
the  Government,  with  reference  to  the  large  powers  given  the 
Executive  as  to  the  disposition  of  the  railway  aid  fund.  This 
motion  was  resisted  on  the  ground,  as  stated  in  the  Govern- 
ment's amendment  to  Mr.  Blake's  motion,  that  one-tenth  of 
the  constituencies  of  tlie  Province  were  unrepresented  in  the 
House,  and  that  it  was  inexpedient  to  consider  the  question 
involved  in  Mr.  Blake's  motion  until  all  the  constituencies 
were  duly  represented  in  Parliament.  To  this  plea  of  the  Gov- 
ernment, the  Opposition  made  answer  that  the  House  was 
called  for  the  despatch  of  business,  that  the  Government  pro- 


t';.;v,;r' 


i     t 


MR.  MACKENZIE  AND  PliOVlNGIAL  POLITICS. 


297 


posed  to  go  on  with  business,  as  thoy  a^ked  the  House  to 
consider  the  Lieutenant-Governor's  address,  that  if  the  House 
was  competent  to  do  business,  at  all,  it  was  equally  competent 
to  sit  in  judgment  on  the  Government ;  and  that  the  appeal  for 
a  postponement  of  its  action  was  an  acknowledgment  of 
weakness  whicli  the  House  was  not  bound  to  respect. 

On  a  vote  being  taken,  the  Government  was  defeated  by  a 
majority  of  eight.  Mr.  Blake's  resolution  was  then  carried  on 
a  vote  of  30  to  40.  This  was  on  the  14th  of  December.  On 
the  same  day  Mr.  Mackenzie  moved :  "  That  we  have  no  con- 
fidence in  a  Ministry  which  is  attempting  to  carry  out  in 
reference  to  the  railway  fund  of  $1,500,000,  an  usurpation 
fraught  with  danger  to  public  liberty  and  constitutional 
government."  On  this  motion,  Mr.  Mackenzie  delivered  his 
first  address  "  which  both  for  the  material  it  contained,"  said 
the  Globe  of  the  I'ol lowing  day,  "  and  the  manner  of  its  delivery, 
was  a  model  of  aggressive  parliamentary  warfare."  He 
reviewed  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's  policy  in  the  old  Parlia- 
ment of  Canada,  and  contrasted  his  conduct  as  a  Liberal  then 
with  his  well-known  Conservative  tendencies  now.  He 
exposed  his  treachery  to  the  Liberal  party  in  combining  with 
Sir  John  Macdonald  for  the  defeat  of  the  Liberals  in  18G7,  and 
rallied  liim  severely  for  his  want  of  intlependence  in  not 
resigning  when  he  saw  clearly  that  the  feeling  of  the  House 
was  against  him.  After  a  brief  reply  from  Mr.  Sandfield 
Macdonald,  a  vote  was  taken,  and  Mr.  Mackenzie's  resolution 
was  carried  by  a  majority  of  one. 

When  the  House  re-assembled  on  the  18th,  Mr.  Blako 
determined  to  show  the  Government  that  he  was  master  of  the 
situation  by  moving  a  direct  vote  of  want  of  confidence. 
AnionjT  other  thinos,  he  said  "  that  the  contiiuianco  in  office  of 
the  Government  of  the  day  is,  under  existing  circumstances, 


wm 


i|:i"i| 


iMfi 
iliiii 

Hi'llniJi 


298 


LIFE  OF  TJE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


W^\ 


at  variance  with  the  spirit  of  tho  constitution."  The  Gjvcn-n- 
meut  met  this  rosohition  by  a  motion  to  adjourn  the  House 
until  the  9th  of  January,  This  was  lost  on  a  vote  of  26  to  43  ; 
and  Mr.  Blake's  resolution  was  carried  on  a  vote  of  44  to  25. 
With  this  vote,  the  Sandfield  Mac  lonald  A<bninistratiou  was  at 
an  end  ;  and  on  the  following  day  Mr.  Blake  was  called  by  His 
Honor  the  Lieutenant-Governor  to  form  a  new  Administration. 

Mr.  Blake  was  not  lono-  in  formino;  his  new  Government. 
His  arrangement  of  Cabinet  seats  was  as  follows  : 

/Mr.  Edward  Blake,  Premier  of  the  Council ;  Adam  Crooks, 
Attoi'ney-General ;  Peter  (^ow,  Provincial  Secretary ;  Alex. 
Mackenzie,  Provincial  Treasurer ;  R  W.  Scott,  Commissioner 
of  Crown  Lands ;  A.  McKellar,  Commissioner  of  Agriculture 
and  Public  Works. 

According;  to  constitutional  usajxe,  the  new  Ministers  had  to 
appeal  to  their  constituents  for  re-election. 

The  r)th  of  January  was  the  day  mentioned  in  the  writ  for 
the  nomination  of  candidates  in  West  Middlesex,  and  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie had  of  course  to  appear  before  his  constituents.  In 
asking  for  a  renewal  of  their  contidence,  he  pointed  out 
that  the  policy  of  the  new  Government  embraced  measures  to 
better  secure  the  independence  of  Parliament  and  to  make  it 
impossible  for  a  Government  to  purchase  the  support  of  mem- 
bers by  gifts  of  office  and  emolument.  The  railway  act  of  last 
session  was  to  be  amendt'd  so  tliat  no  Dal  way  could  obtain  one 
cent  of  aid  without  the  jH'cvious  assent  of  the  House  of 
Assembly.  The  location  of  public  buildings  would  be  nuide 
known  to  the  House  before  the  estimate  for  their  construction 
\vas  voted.  J)ual  representation  would  bo  abolished,  and  the 
G  ivernnient  of  Ontario  would  no  longer  be  subordinated  to 
the  party  in  power  at  Ottawa.  He  ivpelled  the  charge  that 
they  had  formed  a  coalition  with  Mr.  Scott,  by  stating  that  Mr. 


JUR.  MACKENZIE  AND  PROVINCIAL  POLITICS. 


209 


Scott  had  nccoptcd  every  plank  in  their  phitform  and  was 
l))"cpared  to  join  them  in  giving  their  principles  etVoct  in 
legislation,  llovv,  then,  could  it  be  a  coalition  ?  "The  Admin- 
istration," he  said,  "  was  formed  of  men  that  would  work 
in  harmony  together,  of  men  who  would  give  efi'ect  to  those 
principles  of  public  policy  which  hiy  at  the  foundation  of 
good  government,  and  would  put  an  end  to  the  scandal  of  a 
Minister  of  the  Crown  perambulating  the  country,  offering 
his  principles  and  the  patronage  of  the  Government  for 
public  competition.  They  intended  to  carry  their  principles 
fully  into  operation  and  to  administer  the  Government  not 
only  without  reference  to  the  political  opinion  of  any  par- 
ticular quarter,  but  in  the  interests  of  the  whole  country.  It 
liad  been  his  proud  privilege  since  he  entered  public  life  to 
adhere  closely  to  those  principles  which  he  had  imbibed  in 
his  early  years.  It  had  been  his  privilege  to  obtain  some 
measure  of  moral  support  and  inthionce  throughout  the 
country,  and  that  support  and  influence  he  prized  infinitely 
higher  than  he  did  any  official  position  in  the  land,  and  he 
would  not  j<acrifice  it  for  the  best  gift  in  the  power  of  the 
British  or  the  Canadian  Government.  He  hoped  at  the  close 
of  his  career  to  be  able  to  look  back  without  a  single  pang  of 
regret  at  the  course  he  had  taken  in  the  public  allkirs  of  the 
cijuutry." 

In  the  face  of  the  large  miijoi'ity  obtained  the  provituis  year, 
all  opposition  was  withdrawn,  and  for  the  second  time  the 
electors  of  West  Middlesex  exjuessud  their  eonlidence  in  thu 
future  leader  of  the  Lilteral  party. 

The  Hnuse  met  pursuant  to  adjournment,  on  the  iSth  of 
January.  Mr.  Saniltield  Macdonalil  declined  to  accept  the 
leailership  of  the  O[)p()sition.  ami  at  a  caucus  of  the  party, 
Mr.  M.  C.  Cameron  was  ap[)ointed  to  tliat  position.     Tiie  early 


i^i 


llHl 


300 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


days  of  the  session  were  taken  up  in  the  discussion  of  a  num- 
ber of  paltry  charges  against  the  new  Government.  Mr.  Scott, 
who  resigned  the  Speakership  to  which  he  was  appointed 
under  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald,  to  accept  the  portfolio  of 
Commissioner  of  Crown  Lands,  was  singled  out  for  special 
attack.  He  was  charged  with  being  in  the  pay  of  the  lumber- 
men and  consequently  unfit  for  the  duties  of  his  office.*  Being 
elected,  it  was  claimed,  as  a  supporter  of  Mr.  Sandfield  Mac- 
donald, he  could  not  take  office  under  Mr.  Blake  except  either 
by  a  sacrifice  of  his  political  principles  or  on  the  understanding 
that  the  Government  which  he  entered  was  a  coalition.  All 
these  charges  were,  however,  repelled  both  by  Mr.  Scott  and 
Mr.  Blake  in  the  most  vigorous  terms.  As  Mr.  Mackenzie 
said,  "  Ml-.  Scott  accepted  every  plank  in  the  Liberal  platform  ;  " 
and  Mr.  Blake,  in  his  defence  of  his  Government,  stated  that 
there  were  no  "  open  questions  "  left  over  for  future  consid- 
eration. 

The  Opposition  next  attacked  Mr.  Blake  on  the  ground  that 
he  had  ofiered  a  corrupt  inducement  to  Hon.  E.  B.  Wood,  a 
member  of  Mr.  Sandfield  Macdonald's  Administration,  to  resign 
his  seat  in  the  Government  and  support  the  Liberal  party. 
The  charge,  briefly  .summarised,  is  as  follows :  While  Mr. 
Sandfield  Macdonald's  Government  was  being  arraigned  by 
the  Opposition  for  its  misdeeds,  a  page  conveyed  a  message 
from  Mr.  Blake  to  Mr.  Wood  ;  that  subsequent  to  the  receipt  of 
that  message  Mr.  Wood  arose  and  moved  from  his  usual 
place  in  the  House  to  a  seat  on  the  back  benches  ;  that  in  doing 
so  he  received  an  approving  nod  from  Mr.  Blake,  which  he 
returned ;  and  that  these  circumstances  indicated  a  corrupt 
collusion  between  Mr.  Blake  and  Mr.  Wood.  On  the  strength 
of  this  suspicion,  Mr.  Cameron  asked  for  a  special  committee 
of    investigation.      His  aiotion    was  amended    in   the   usual 


m 


w 


MB.  MACKENZIE  AND  PROVIXCIAL  POLITICS. 


301 


d,  a 


parliaint  itary  way  in  the  case  of  cliar^es  by  one  member 
against  another  so  as  to  make  him  responsible  as  a  member  of 
the  House  for  the  complaint  which  he  had  previously  formu- 
lated in  general  terms.  Mr.  Cameron  refused  to  apjiear  before 
the  committee.  Both  Mr.  Wood  and  Mr.  Blake  denied  the 
charc^e,  and  so  the  matter  ended. 

Mr.  McKellar.  who  was  Commissioner  of  Public  Works,  had 
also  transgressed  the  proprieties  of  Parliament — so  the 
Opposition  said — and  a  special  committee  was  called  for  to 
inquire  into  his  conduct.  It  was  alleged,  in  his  case,  that  he 
had  commissioned  one  Lewis,  a  Government  inspector  of 
lands,  while  an  election  was  pending  in  the  south  riding  of 
Grey,  to  say  that  if  the  electors  voted  against  Mr.  Lauder,  the 
Opposition  candidate,  "  they  should  have  the  full  benefit  of  the 
low  estimate  which  had  been  made  of  the  value  of  their  lands, 
but  not  otherwise."  The  investigation  into  this  scandal  was  a 
complete  vindication  of  Mr.  McKellar  and  a  sore  disappoint- 
ment to  the  Opposition. 

Mr.  Mackenzie,  who  had  taken  an  active  part  in  the  discus- 
sions of  the  House,  was  now  called  upon  to  show  his  knowledge 
of  the  financial  aflfairs  of  the  province  and  to  unfold  the  policy 
of  the  Government  in  all  matters  affecting  his  department.  It 
is  needless  to  say  that,  although  sworn  in  as  Treasurer  but  two 
months  before,  he  showed  a  marvellous  grasp  of  the  details  of 
his  office  ;  and  his  budget  speech  is  in  no  sense  inferior  to  the 
budget  speeches  of  many  worthy  successors,  who  had  the 
advantage  of  experience  in  their  favor.  He  opened  his  remarks 
by  a  running  commentary  on  the  privileges  enjoyed  by 
Ontario,  under  the  Union  Act.  "  It  was  the  constant  complaint 
prior  to  1867,  that  we  were  subjected,  as  a  people,  to  unfair 
induences.  We  were  placed  in  the  position  of  contributing 
from    two-thirds    to    three-fourths    of    the    revenue   of   the 


m 


i      i 


302 


LfFE  OF  THE  ffOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


|i!iji|! 


Hi 

I 

I 


ilMHil 


couuti*)-,  while  we  were  always  unable  to  obtain  for  any 
local  purposes,  such  as  we  tax  ourselves  for  under  the  present 
system,  the  half  of  the  actual  revenue  of  the  united  provinces. 
In  this  respect,  he  believed  the  change  effected  by  the  confed- 
eration of  the  provinces  was  extremely  beneficial  tQ  us  as  a 
province;  and  he  hoped  to  the  Province  of  Quebec  also,  by 
stitnulating  people  to  greater  exertions  in  regard  to  local 
atikirs.  instead   of  depending  upon  the  general   resources," 

He  then  pointed  out  the  benefits  accruing  to  Ontario  from 
her  admirable  municipal  system  and  the  consequent  relief 
which  it  afforded  to  the  Treasury.  "  Our  surplus,"  he  said, 
"  was  not  owing  so  much  to  the  accumulation  of  balances  in 
the  Treasurer's  hands  as  to  the  relief  to  the  Treasury  of 
Ontario  from  charges  for  a  variety  of  public  works  which  in 
the  other  provinces  were  paid  by  the  Provincial  Government." 
He  advocated  the  free  education  of  indigent  pupils  at  the 
Belleville  Institute  for  the  Deaf  and  Dumb  and  the  Brantford 
Institute  for  the  Blind,  using  the  expressive  words:  "It  was 
the  bounden  duty  of  the  country  to  see  that  such  children 
were  properly  educated." 

In  proposing  an  increased  grant  for  education,  he  sai^l : 
"  The  education  of  the  people  was  one  of  the  very  first  con- 
siderations that  should  actuate  a  Government  in  preparing 
estimates  of  public  expenditure."  Speaking  of  the  teachers, 
he  said  :  '*  It  was  extremely  desirable  to  raise  the  profession  of 
teachers  as  much  as  possible.  They  were  a  most  important 
class  of  persons,  and  uuich  of  the  future  prosperity  of  the 
country  depended  on  the  class  of  teachers  that  were  employed 
ill  our  public  schools.  When,  under  the  late  school  act, 
higher  qualifications  were  demanded  of  teachers,  it  would 
be  quite  unfair  to  demand  these  qualifications  without 
demanditiir    a    remuneration  somewhat     largar   than    before." 


^\'r-'':  '-'W 


mh.  .uackexzie  axj>  provixcial  politics. 


3o;i 


He  also  advocated  a  vifjorous  immigration  policy,  and  tho 
Settlement  of  the  dispute  between  Ontario  and  Quebec  as  to 
our  Western  boundaries. 

The  promised  legislation  with  regard  to  Dual  Representation 
was  brought  down  by  Mr.  Bluko,  by  which  members  of  the 
Legislative  Assembly  of  Ontario  were  thereafter  disqualified 
from  sitting  and  vesting  in  the  House  of  Conniions.  The 
Railway  Aid  resolutions  were  also  submitted  to  the  House  for 
approval,  as  promised  by  the  Liberals  when  in  Opposition,  and 
amendments  were  made  to  the  Registry  Act  providing  for  the 
distribution,  among  the  municipalities,  of  certain  portions  of 
the  income  of  registrars  in  excess  of  the  sums  mentioned  in 
the  Act. 

A  sum  of  85,000  was  placed  in  the  estimates  as  a  reward 
for  the  apprehension  of  the  murderers  of  Scott ;  and  on  the 
2nd  of  March,  the  House  prorogued. 

The  great  services  rendered  the  Province  of  Ontario  by  Mr. 
Mackenzie,  as  a  member  of  the  Local  Legislature,  should  not 
be  overlooked.  Had  he  declined  the  nomination  in  the  west 
riding  of  Middlesex,  it  is  more  than  probable  its  former  Tory 
lepresentativc  would  have  been  re-elected,  and  this,  on  a 
division,  would  have  counted  two  votes  for  Mr.  Sandtield 
Macdonald.  Besides  winning  a  seat  for  his  party,  his  courage 
and  devotion  in  entering  tlie  field  against  the  Sandfield  Mac- 
tlr.nald  Administration  stimulated  the  party  to  greater  exertions 
all  over  the  province.  Success  at  the  elections  meant  the 
fi)riTiation  of  a  new  Government,  of  which  Mr.  Mackenzie 
would  necessarily  be  a  member,  and  the  hope  oi  this  consoli- 
dated the  party  in  many  counties.  In  the  struggle  in  the 
House,  also,  with  the  Administration,  Mr.  Mackenzie's  counsel 
was  of  great  value,  as  well  as  his  pertinacity  and  destructive- 
acss  as  a  tlebater.     Had  he  reposed  on  his  laurels  as  leader  of 


1^1- 


J 
.§am 


ll|ii|j|l 


l!ii|!t|^ii|| 


ilJ'l: 


aoi 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDElt  MACKEXZIE. 


the  Opposition,  at  Ottawa,  or  had  he  been  less  devoted  to  liis 
party,  he  would  never  have  assumed  the  additional  burdens  of 
a  seat  in  tlie  Legislative  Assembly.  What  Ontario  owes  to  him 
for  the  sacrifices  he  made,  and  to  those  who  acted  with  him,  is 
it  not  written  in  the  Books  of  the  Chronicles  of  the  Liberal 
party  during  the  last  twenty  years? 

When  the  members  of  the  Local    Legislature  who  held  seats 

in  the  House  of  Commons  were  relieved    from  the  discharcfe 

of    their   duties  as  provincial    legislators,  they    were    almost 

immediately  called  to  meet  at  Ottawa  ;  and  during  the  session 

of  that  year  (1872)  were  told  that  they  must  resign  their  seats 

as  members    of  the  Local  Legislature  befoie  they  could   be 

■elected    members   of   the   Dominion    Parliament.      Both    Mr. 

Mackenzie  and   Mr.  Blake,  the  only  two  members   concerned, 

■chose  the  House  of  Connnons  ;  but  before  doing  so,  had  agreed 

wisely  and  fortunately  for  the  people  of  Ontario  'upon    Mr. 

Oliver  Mowat,  as  leader  of  the  Government.     Objection  was 

taken  to  this  appointment  on  account  of  Mr.  Mowat's  position 

AS  vice-chancellor  for  the  province  ;  and  it  was  many  years 

before  the  country  was  relieved  from  the  pitiful  reiteration  of 

the  Tory  press,  that  in  accepting  the  Premiership  he  descended 

from  the  bench  regardless  of  his  judicial    ermine.     That   no 

mistake   was  made  in  his    appointment  is  abundantly    proven 

by  his  record  as  the  Liberal   leader  for  twenty  years.     Those 

^vho  were  associated  witli  him  in  the  old  Parliament  of  Canada 

i-ecognised  the  great  ability  which  he  possessed ;  and  among 

the  many  letters  of  congratulation  received  by  Mr.  Mackenzie 

on  account  of  this  appointment,  the  one  already  quoted  from 

the  Hon.  L.  H.  Holton  may  be  taken  as  expressing  the  views 

of  all  his  old  associates  in  the  Parliament  of  Canada. 

The  following  letter  also  from  the  same  writer  is  worthy  of 
note : 


^J>P 

luonix 


int 


Sir  Oliver  Mowat. 


hv   01 


Mn.  MACKENZIE  AND  PROVINCIAL  POLITICS. 


307 


"Montreal,  .-'nn.  7th,  1872. 
"  My  Dear  Mackexzie, 

"I  need  not  say  that  I  have  followed  your  movements  in  Ontario  with 
intense  interest.  Tlie  vigor  of  the  onset  that  brought  the  crisis,  and  the 
sound  judgment  with  which  the  crisis  itself  was  dealt  with,  were  equally 
admirable.  I  confess,  however,  to  some  concern  at  finding  both  you  and 
Blake  yoked  to  the  local  car.  Am  I  right  in  the  inference  that  this  is 
merely  a  temporary  arrangement  rendered  necessary,  or  at  least  expedi- 
ent, by  the  newness  of  public  life  of  some  of  your  colleagues,  and  that 
after  getting  the  machine  in  good  running  order,  you  and  Blake  will 
withdraw,  and  beyond  i'roserving  your  seats  in  the  Assembly  confine 
yourselves  to  the  Dominion  service.  This  has  been  my  theory  from  the 
start.  The  only  debatable  point  in  your  proceedings  is  the  ai)pointment 
of  Scott,  but  that  I  am  prepared  not  only  to  defend  but  to  commend. 
Our  great  need  as  a  party  is  a  conviction  in  the  public  mind  that  we  can 
govern,  and  to  have  formed  a  Provin^^ial  Cabinet  without  an  eastern  man 
and  without  a  Roman  Catholic  in  it  would  have  been  nearly  tantamount 
to  a  confession  that  you  could  not  form  what  used  to  be  'a  broad-bot- 
tomed administration,"  and  any  otiier  must  be  ephemeral.  Now  Scott 
fulfils  both  these  essential  conditions,  and  is  in  all  other  respects,  saving 
of  course  his  Tory  antecedents,  which  he  necessarily  abandons  in  joining 
you,  not  merely  an  unobjectionable,  but  a  most  desirable  colleague  with 
reference  to  the  efficiency  of  your  Provincial  Administration. 

"  Trul;  yours, 

"L.  H.    HOLTON. 

"  Hon.  Alex   Mackenzie, 

♦'Torojito.' 


^1   : 


%\ 


% 


mm 


'mm 


II 


CHAPTER  XXIII. 

THE   CANADIAN   PACIFIC   RAILWAY. 

Conditiona  for  constructing  the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway — Dnbate  in  Parlia- 
ment— Burdens  involved — New  Brunswick  School  Bill — Rights  of  the  Min- 
ority— Mr.  Mackenzie's  Attitude— First  Gerrymander. 

HE  great  event  of  the  session  of  1872  was  the  formal 
proposition  of  the  Government  for  the  construction 
of  a  trans-continental  railway.  As  we  have  seen, 
by  the  terms  of  union  with  British  Columbia, 
Parliament  wad  pledged  to  commence  such  a  road 
within  two  years  of  the  date  of  union,  and  complete  it 
within  ten  years  of  the  same  date.  The  Eastern  terminus  of 
the  road  was  to  be  some  point  on  or  near  Lake  Nipissing;  the 
Western  terminus,  the  shore  of  the  Pacitic  Ocean.  The  course 
and  line  of  the  road  w  as  to  be  subject  to  the  approval  of  the 
Governor  in  Council.  The  railway  was  to  be  constructed  by 
a  Company,  to  be  approved  by  the  Governor-in-Councii. 
The  Company  was  to  receive  a  grant  of  50,000,000  acres  of 
land  in  blocks  of  twenty  miles  in  depth,  on  each  side  of  the 
line,  alternating  with  similar  blocks  reserved  for  the  Govern- 
ment. In  case  the  ')0;000,000  acres  of  land  were  not  avail- 
able contiguous  to  the  railway,  the  deficiency  was  to  be 
made  up  out  of  other  lands  held  by  the  Government.  A 
subsidy,  not  exceeding  $30,000,000  was  to  be  paid  the 
Company  as  the  work  progressed,  and  the  Governor  in 
Council  was  to  be  authorised  to  raise  by  loan  this  amount, 

308 


THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC  RAILWAY. 


309 


if  necessary.  Provision  was  also  made  to  construct  a  branch 
line  from  Manitoba  to  some  point  on  the  American  frontier, 
and  another  branch  line  to  some  point  on  Lake  Superior. 

The  Opposition  had,  in  a  preneral  way,  expressed  their  opinion 
with  regard  to  the  construction  of  such  a  railway,  when  the 
terms  for  the  admission  of  British  Columbia  were  before  the 
House;  and  ther  3  remained  little  to  do  except  to  formulate  their 
objections.  They  first  protested  against  investing  the  Governor- 
in-Council  with  the  power  of  approving  of  the  route  along  which 
the  railway  should  be  built,  claiming  that  to  place  50,000,000 
acres  of  land  and  $30,000,000  of  money  at  the  disposition  of 
the  Government  for  a  railway,  wherever  they  might  choose  to 
locate  it,  was  an  abnegation  of  the  functions  of  Parliament. 
The  country  had  suffered  severely  from  the  unwise  choice  the 
Government  had  made  with  regard  to  the  route  of  the  Inter- 
colonial Railway,  not  more  than  one-fourth  the  length  of  the 
proposed  Canadian  Pacific  Railway.  If  they  were  faithless  in 
the  shorter  road,  how  could  they  be  trusted  in  the  larger  one  ? 
iSandtield  Macdonald's  Government,  in  Ontario,  had  suffered 
defeat  largely  because  it  had  taken  to  itself  the  power  of 
paying  over  $l,oOO,000  to  railways  without  first  submitting  to 
Parliament  the  allocation  of  the  roads  to  be  so  aided.  The 
public  opinion  of  Ontario  was,  therefore,  against  granting  the 
Government  the  extraordinary  powers  asked  for.  Their 
second  protest  was  against  the  power  claimed  by  the  resolution 
to  charter  a  company  without  first  submitting  to  Parliament 
for  its  approval  the  conditions  on  which  such  charter  was  to 
be  granted.  Their  third  protest  was  against  the  assumption 
by  the  Government  of  handing  over  50,000,000  acres  of  land 
— equal  in  extent  to  six  provinces  of  the  size  of  Manitoba — 
without  reference  to  Parliament      Their  fourth  protest  was 


H^ 


Eh 


t    iiii'ii:  ii' 


310 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


against  chartering  a  railway  company  of  which  any  member 
of  Parliament  might  be  a  shareholder. 

Never  did  a  Government,  in  the  history  of  any  colony,  under 
the  British  Crown,  ask  for  such  extraordinary  power.  No  won- 
der, with  the  prospect  of  getting  the  authority  which  was  asked 
for  in  the  resolutions  respecting  this  railway,  that  Sir  George 
Cartier  exclaimed,  "  The  Governor-in-Council  is  a  great  insti- 
tution." When  Mr.  Mackenzie  protested  against  the  usurpa- 
tion of  the  authority  of  Parliament  by  the  Executive,  an 
appeal  to  the  majfjrity  of  the  House  was  almost  the  only 
answer  made.  No  evidence  was  produced  even  that  the  case 
was  urgent,  that  any  public  interest  would  suft'er  by  reasonable 
delay,  or  that  public  opinion  was  in  favor  of  immediate  action. 
Even  so  strong  a  supporter  of  the  Government  as  Senator 
Macphcrson  objected  to  the  immediate  construction  of  the 
whole  line  of  railway.  On  April  3,  1871,  when  the  British 
Columbia  resolutions  were  before  the  Senate,  he  said :  "I  do 
not  yield  to  any  honorable  gentleman  in  the  desire  to  see  an 
interoceanic  railway  through  British  territory ;  but  we 
should  advance  prudently,  using  the  American  lines  to  our 
South-Westein  frontier ;  then,  build  our  railway  westward 
through  the  prairie  lands  which  are  so  attractive  to  settlers, 
and  carefully  explore  the  country  between  Fort  Garry  and 
Lake  Nipissing  before  undertaking  to  build  a  railway  through 
it.  It  is  absurd  to  say  that  the  exchequer  of  the  Dominion 
is  to  be  burdened  with  an  expenditure  of  $100,000,000  for  the 
proposed  railway.  No  one  can  seriously  believe  that  there 
is  any  such  design  in  contemplation.  Would  any  Govern- 
ment be  insane  enough  to  propose  such  a  thing  ?  Would  the 
country  sanction  such  a  policy ;  or  would  it  be  possible  to 
borrow  such  a  sum  of  mcmey?"  It  is  feared,  however,  that 
prospective  contractors  and  others,  whoso  intluence  with  the 


THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC  RAILWAY. 


311 


K,     '!^' 


on^h 


thoro 

Vl'l'Il- 

I  the 

ilo  to 

tliat 

I  tho 


Clovernment  was  so  potent,  had  given  assurances  of  substantial 
support  of  such  a  character  as  would  enable  the  Governor  in 
Council  to  act  in  defiance  of  public  opinion ;  and  before  the 
close  of  the  year  it  was  pretty  well  known  that  this  was  really 
the  case.  The  futility  of  an  appeal  to  a  purchased  jury  is  well 
known. 

For  the  first  time  since  Confederation,  the  House  was  called 
upon  to  consider  a  question  likely  to  arouse  relifrious  prejudices, 
and  to  lead  to  a  misunderstandinnr  between  Catholics  and 
Protestants  as  to  the  attitude  of  the  two  political  parties  with 
regard  to  the  rights  of  minorities.  In  1S71,  the  Legislative 
Assembly  of  New  Brunswick  passed  a  new  school  act,  with- 
drawing from  Roman  Catholics  the  privilege  of  establishing 
separate  schools,  and  providing  for  the  support  of  public  schools 
by  general  taxation  without  distinction  of  persons  or  creeds. 
The  Roman  Catholics  of  New  Brunswick  strongly  protested 
against  the  passage  of  the  bill,  demanding  the  same  privileges 
as  were  conceded  to  the  minority  in  Ontario  and  Quebec.  Their 
views  being  rejected  by  the  Legislative  Assembly,  the  Roman 
Catholics  petitioned  the  Governor-General  to  disallow  the  Act, 
urging  that  if  the  Act  went  into  operation,  they  would  be 
compelled  to  contribute  to  the  support  of  a  school  system  of 
which  they  conscientiously  disapproved.  They  contended  that 
under  the  93rd  clause  of  the  British  North  America  Act,  they 
had  a  right  to  the  educational  privileges  which  they  claimed 
and  of  which,  in  their  opinion,  they  were  unlawfully  deprived 
It}'  the  Legislative  Assembly. 

Their  petition  was  referred  to  the  Minister  of  Justice,  Sir 
John  Macdonald,  who  held  that  tho  Legislative  Assembly  had 
not  exceeded  its  power,  and  that  therefore  ho  could  not  advise 
His  E.^cellcncy  to  disallow  tho  Act  to  which  objection  was 
taken.     On  May  20th,  Mr.  Costigaii  moved  a  resolution  setting 


11! 


1 


Wi^ 


312 


LIFJl!  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDEli  MACKENZIE. 


forth  the  viows  of  the  Roniiin  Catliolics  on  this  (jucstion  ami 
asking  His  Excellency  in  conse([uence,  "to  disallow  the  New 
Brunswick  school  law  "  at  the  earliest  possible  period.  The 
debate  extended  over  several  days.  It  was  plainly  seen  thut 
both  sides  of  the  House  were  anxious  not  to  interfere  with  the 
control  of  Local  Legislatures  over  matters  within  their  constitu- 
tional limitations,  so  Mr.  Costigan's  motion  was  lost,  as  were 
also  several  amendments.  First,  the  amendment  by  Colonel 
Cray,  aflirming  that  the  law  passed  by  the  Local  Legislature  in 
New  Brunswick  respecting  connnon  schools  was  strictly  within 
the  limits  of  its  constitutional  powers.  Second,  the  nmend- 
ment  by  Mr.  Chauveau,  proposing  that  the  Imperial  (Jovern- 
meut  should  amend  the  British  North  America  Act  of  18()7j 
so  as  to  secure  to  every  religious  denomination  in  New 
Brunswick  and  Nova  Scotia  all  such  rights,  advantages,  and 
privileges  with  regard  to  their  schools  as  they  enjoyed  at  the 
time  of  the  passage  of  the  Jiritish  North  America  Act  Third, 
an  amendment  expressing  regret  that  His  Excellency  had  not 
been  advised  to  disallow  the  New  Brunswick  School  Act.  A 
motion  by  Mr.  Colby,  expressing  regret  that  the  New  Bruns- 
wick School  Act  was  unsatisfactory  to  a  portion  of  the  inhabi- 
tants of  that  Province,  and  expressing  the  hope  that  the 
Legislature  of  New  J^runswick,  at  its  next  session,  w,)uld 
remove  all  just  grounds  of  discontent,  was  carried,  together  with 
a  motion  moved  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  •  "That  the  opinion  of  the 
law  officers  of  the  Crown  and,  if  possible,  the  opinion  of  the 
Judicial  Committee  of  the  Privy  Council  should  be  obtained  as 
to  the  right  of  the  New  lirunswick  Legislature  to  make  such 
changes  in  the  school  law  as  deprived  the  Roman  Catholics  ot 
the  privihiges  they  enjoyed  at  the  time  of  the  union,  in  respect 
of  religious  etlucation  in  the  connnon  schools,  with  the  view  o[ 
ascertaining'  whether  the  case  conies  within  tlie  terms  of   the 


THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC  RAILWAY. 


313 


93nl  clause  of  the  British  Nortli  America  Act,  1SG7."  On 
NovemLer  29,  1872,  the  law  oHicers  of  the  Crown  concuucd 
in  the  opinion  previously  expressed  by  Sir  John  Macdonald  ; 
nnniely,  "that  the  New  Brunswick  School  Bill  was  within  the 
juristliction  of  the  Legislative  Assembly."  The  Judicial  Com- 
mittee of  the  Privy  Council  declined  to  express  any  opinion 
on  the  question,  on  the  j^'round  tliat  the  power  of  allowing  or 
disallowing  provincial  acts  is  vested  by  statute  in  the  Governor- 
General  of  the  Douunion  of  Canada,  acting  under  the  advice 
of  his  constitutional  advisers. 

An  attempt  was  made  to  bring  the  (juestion  before  the 
Privy  Council  on  appeal  from  the  Supreme  Court  of  New 
!>runswick,  in  wliich  it  was  decided  that  the  Provincial  Act 
wis  valid ;  but  the  law  officers  of  the  Crown  determined 
that  such  an  appeal  should  not  be  submitted,  us  they  still 
adhered  to  the  previous  opinion. 

On  the  Gth  of  May,  1874,  Mr.  Costigan  moved  a  resolution 
calling  upon  the  Imperial  Parliament  to  amend  the  Biitish 
North  America  Act  in  the  direction  desired  by  the  Roman  Catho- 
lics of  New  Brunswick,  which,  with  the  permission  of  the 
House,  he  afterwards  withdi-evv.  Again,  in  1875,  on  the  8th 
of  March,  he  renewed  his  demand  for  an  amendment  to  the 
British  North  America  Act  by  which  the  Roman  Catholic 
inhabitants  of  New  Hrunswick  would  Ik;  set  on  the  same 
footing  as  the  Roman  Catholic  minority  in  Ontario  or  the 
Protestant  minority  in  Quebec. 

Tiie  proposal  to  amend  the  Constitution  of  the  Dominion  in 
order  to  allow  the  establishment  of  Separate  schools  in  New 
Brunswick,  contrary  to  the  expressed  wi.^hes  of  the  people, 
was  strongly  deprecated  by  leading  members  of  the  House. 
ICven  those  who  sympathised  with  the  contention  of  the 
Ivomau    Catholics    believed    that    to    vote    for    the    resolution 


I 


II: 


314 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


before  the  House  would  be  subversive  of  the  principles  upon 
which  the  Constitution  was  founded.  To  destroy  the  local 
independence  of  one  province  would  practically  be  to  destroj' 
tlie  independence  of  all.  If  the  Dominion  Government  began 
the  practice  of  coercing  one  province,  where  v/as  it  to  stop  ? 
Might  it  not  lead  to  the  transfer  of  the  subject  of  education 
from  the  Local  Legislatures  to  the  Parliament  of  Canada,  or 
to  the  abolition  of  any  or  all  the  privileges  enjoyed  by  the 
provinces  under  the  British  North  America  Act  ? 

In  speaking  of  Mr.  Costigan's  resolution,  Mi-.  Mackenzie  said  : 
"  I  believe  in  free  schools  and  in  the  non-denominational  system, 
and  if  I  could  persuade  my  fellow-countrymen  in  Ontario  or 
Quebec  or  any  other  province  to  adopt  that  principle,  it  is  the 
one  I  would  give  preference  to  above  all  others  ;  but  I  cannot 
shut  my  eyes  to  the  fact  that  in  all  the  provinces,  there  is  a 
very  considerable  number  of  people — in  the  Province  of  Que- 
bec, indeed  a  large  majority — who  believe  that  the  dogmas 
of  religion  should  be  taught  in  the  public  schools  ;  that  it  has 
an  intimate  relationship  with  the  morality  of  the  people,  that 
it  is  essential  to  their  welfare  as  a  people,  that  the  doctrines 
of  their  church  should  be  taught  and  religious  principle, 
according  to  their  theoiy  of  i-eligious  principle,  bo  instilled 
into  the  minds  of  their  children  at  School.  For  many  years 
after  I  held  a  seat  in  the  Parliament  of  Canada  1  waged  war 
against  the  principle  of  Separate  schools.  I  hoped  to  be  able 
— young  and  inexperienced  as  I  was — to  establish  a  system  to 
which  all  would  ultimately  yield  their  assent.  Sir,  it  was 
found  to  be  impracticable  in  operation  and  impossible  in 
political  contingencies;  and  consequently  wlien  the  Confed- 
eration Act  was  passed  in  18G7,  or  rather  when  the  Quebec 
resolutions  were  adopted  in  1804-65,  which  embodied  the 
principle  that  should  be  the  law  of   the  land,  Confederation 


THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC  RAILWAY. 


315 


took  place  under  the  compact  then  entered  upon.     I  heartily 
assented  to  that  proposition,  and  supported  it  by  speech  and 
vote  in  the  Confederation  debate.     And,  Sir,  the  same  ground 
which  led  me  on  that  occasion  to  give  loyal  assistance  to  the 
Confederation  project,  embracing  as  it  did  a  scheme  of  having 
Separate  Schools  for  Catholics  in  Ontario  and  Piotestants  in 
Quebec,  caused  me  to  feel  bound  to  extend,  at  all  events,  my 
sympathy,  if   I  ccjuld  not  give  my  active  assistance  to  those 
in  other  provinces  who  believed  they  were  Itvboring  under 
the  same  disability  and  suffering  from  the  same  grievances 
that  the  Catholics  of  Ontario  complaiiicd  of  for  many  years. 
But,  Sir,  there  is  a  higher  principle  still  which  we  have  to 
adhere    to,  and  that   is   to    preserve     in    their  integrity    the 
principles  of  the  Constitution  under  which  we  live.     If  any 
personal  act  of  mine,   if  anything  I  could   do  would  assist  to 
relieve  those  who  believe  they  are  living  under  a  grievance 
in  the  Province  of  New  Brunswick,  that  act  would  be  gladly 
undertaken  and  zealously  performed ;   but  I  have   no  right, 
this  House  has  no  right,  to  interfere  with  the  legislation  of  a 
Province  when  that  legislation  is  secured  by  Imperial  com- 
pact, to  M'hich  all  the  parties  submitted  in  the  Act  of   Con- 
federation.    ^     f^     ^     ^     1  may  point  this  out  to  honorable 
gentlemen  in  this  House  and  to  the  country  that,  if  it  were 
competent  for  this  House  directly  or  indirectly  to  set  asido 
the  Constitution  as  regards  one  of  the  smaller  Provinces,  it 
would  be  equally  competent  for  this  House  to  set  it  aside  as 
regards    the    privileges    which    the    Catholics   enjoy  at  this 
moment  in  Ontario.     It  is  not  desirable  that  we  should  make 
the  way  open  for  such  ])urpose,  and  it  is  not  desirable  that 
anvthing  should  be  done  which  would  excite  religious  discus- 
sions   and    pi-omoto    religious    animosities."      Mr.   Mackenzie 
closed  his  speech  by  proposing  an  amendment  declaring  that 


II 


' 

■ 

316 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


legislation  by  the  Imperial  Parliament  encroaehinr>-  on  any  of 
the  powers  reserved  to  any  of  the  provinces  by  the  British 
North  America  Act  would  bo  an  infraction  of  the  British 
Constitution  and  that  it  would  be  inexpedient  and  fraught 
with  danger  to  each  of  the  provinces  for  the  House  to  invite 
such  legislation." 

After  considerable  discussion,  it  was  proposed  to  add  to  Mr. 
Mackenzie's  motion  an  expression  of  regret  that  the  New 
Brunswick  Legislature  had  not  modified  the  School  Act  of  1871 
in  such  a  way  as  to  remove  all  just  ground  of  dissatisfaction, 
and  lat  an  humble  address  be  presented  to  Her  Majesty, 
praying  her  to  use  such  influence  with  the  Legislature  of  New 
Brunswick  as  would  secure  such  modifications.  The  divisions 
in  the  House  showed  a  very  curiout  dmnge  of  front  on  the 
part  of  the  Conservatives.  In  1872  they  unanimously  voted 
for  a  resolution  expressing  regret  at  the  action  of  the  Legis- 
lative Assembly  of  New  Brunswick  ;  and  Sir  John  Macdonald, 
who  was  then  Premier,  expressed,  on  behalf  of  the  Government, 
his  willingness  to  bear  the  expenses  of  appeal  to  the  Privy 
Council.  They  also  voted  down,  assisted  by  Mr.  Mackenzie, 
Mr.  Blake,  and  other  leading  Liberals,  an  amendment  by  Mr. 
Dorion,  embodying  the  view  that  the  bill  should  be  disallowed. 
They  then  voted  down  another  amendment  proposed  hy  Mr. 
Chauveau,  calling  upon  the  Imperial  Government  for  such  a 
modification  of  the  British  North  America  Act  as  would  meet 
the  complaints  of  the  Roman  Catholics  in  New  Brunswick  ; 
while  in  1875,  they  were  unwilling  to  express  regret  at  the 
action  of  the  Legislature  of  New  Brunswick  in  not  repealing 
the  obnoxious  School  Act,  but  were  quite  ready  to  ask  the 
Imperial  Parliament  to  amend  the  British  North  America  Act, 
18G7,  as  desired.  Even  such  a  doughty  champion  of  Protest- 
antism as  Mr.  Bowell  was  prepared  to  amend  the  constitution 


~; 


THE  CANADIAN  PACIFIC  HAIL  WAY. 


317 


of  New  Brunswick  nolens  volena  on  the  lines  advocated  by 
Mr.  Costigan. 

The  action  of  the  Liberal  party  on  the  New  Brunswick 
School  Bill  is  worthy  of  the  highest  praise.  The  real  question 
at  issue  was  not  whether  the  Roman  Catholics  of  New  Bruns- 
wick should  be  granted  Separate  Schools  or  not ;  the  question 
was,  should  the  Dominion  Parliament  override  the  Constitu- 
tion in  order  to  redress  a  grievance  which  came  within  the 
province  of  the  Local  Legislature.  No  doubt  many  Roman 
Catholics  in  their  conscientious  zeal  for  Separate  Schools,  felt 
that  in  resisting  the  demand  made  by  Mr.  Costigan  for  the 
relief  they  desired,  the  Liberals  were  actuated  by  hostility 
to  Separate  Schools.  They  failed  to  see  that  the  exercise 
of  the  power  which  would  give  them  Separate  Schools 
in  New  Brunswick  might,  in  the  hands  of  an  unscrupulous 
leader,  deprive  them  of  Separate  Schools  in  the  Province  of 
Ontario,  or  even  in  Quebec.  The  sections  of  the  British  North 
America  Act  which  deal  with  education  were  specially  intended 
for  the  protection  of  minorities.  If  the  Parliament  of  Canada 
could  so  far  forget  itself  as  to  ignore  its  own  Constitution,  then 
every  safeguard  provided  for  the  protection  of  the  minority 
in  the  Province  of  Ontario,  would  be  swept  away. 

The  session  of  1872  will  also  be  remembered  as  the  session 
in  which  the  first  Redistribution  bill  of  a  Conservative  Gov- 
ernment was  introduced  containing  the  very  objectionable 
features  of  the  later  measures  of  1882  and  1892,  for  instance, 
the  old  borough  of  Niagara,  witii  a  population  of  3,9Go,  and 
Cornwall  town  and  township,  with  a  p(»pulation  of  7,1 1^,  were 
each  allowed  a  representative  in  Parliament  or  a  member  for 
.5,500  inhabitants,  although  the  mean  average  was  18,315 
persons  per  member.  North  Simcoe,  South  Bruce,  Essex  and 
Lanibton  were  only  allowed  one  member  each,  or  at  tlie  rate  of 


^  ^n  y 


11 ! 


I 


s 

I 

I 

i 


318 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


32,485  persons  per  member.  The  electoral  district  of  Monek 
was  carved  out  as  a  Tory  preserve,  and  the  county  of  Huron 
was  adjusted  for  the  purpose  of  sacrificing  its  Liberal  repre- 
sentative, Mr.  M.  C.  Cameron.  It  was  also  provided  that  the 
cities  of  Ottawa  and  Hamilton  should  not  be  divided  into  elec- 
toral districts  the  same  as  Montreal  and  Toronto.  The  bill,  as 
submitted  by  the  Government,  passed  the  House — the  first  of 
a  series  of  wrongs  of  ^  similar  kind  adopted  for  the  purpose  of 
stifling  the  free  expre'^ision  of  the  public  opinion  of  Canada  at 
the  polls. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

DOWNFALL   OF   THE   OOVEUXMEXT. 

General  Election  of  1872— Issues  Before  the  Country— Sir  John  Meets  Mac- 
kenzie at  Sarnia — Appointment  of  a  Leader — Selection  of  Mr.  Maekin/ie — 
Interesting  Letter  to  his  IJiotlicr — Irreguhir  Elections — The  Pacific  Scandal 
— Huntington's  Charges — Appointment  of  a  Committee — Sir  John  Mac- 
donald's  Evasions — The  Oaths  IJitl — Prorogation  Amidst  Great  Excitement 
—Meeting  of  Liberals  in  Railway  Connnittee  Room— Memorial  to  the  Gover- 
nor-General— Appointment  of  a  Commission — Meeting  of  Parliament- 
Speeches  by  the  Opposition  Leaders — Resignation  of  the  Government. 

HE  country  had  now  fivo  years'  experience  of  "  no- 
party  "  Governmcut  under  Sir  John  Macdonald, 
and  tlic  electors  were  called  upon  to  consider  how 
far  he  had  fulfilled  the  promises  made  at  the  in- 
GJ^  ception  of  Confederation.  Certainly  it  was  impossible 
for  him,  from  the  complexion  of  his  Cabinet,  and  from 
the  character  of  the  legislation  of  the  past  live  years,  to  raise 
the  "  no-party "  cry  a  second  time.  Mr.  Howland  and  Mr. 
MacDougall,  his  Liberal  allies  from  Ontario  in  18G7,  were  no 
longer  members  of  his  Uovernment ;  Mr.  Fergusson-Blair  had 
passed  over  to  the  majority ;  and  the  men  called  to  till  their 
places  from  Ontario,  whatever  may  have  been  their  previous 
[tarty  antecedents,  were  everywhere  regarded  by  Liberals  as 
his  most  devoted  followers.  Sir  Francis  Hincks,  his  Minister 
of  Finance,  had  forfeited  all  claims  upon  the  Liberal  party 
many  years  ago,  and  neither  Mr.  Aikins  nor  Mr.  Morris  could 
boast  of  a  Lil)eral  fcjllowing.     As,  therefore,  the  "  no-party  " 

319 


! 


I 


il 


320 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOS.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


cry  could  no  longer  be  relied  upon,  a  gigantic  scheme  for  pur- 
chasing the  election  was  inaugurated. 

Tlie  questions  to  be  considered  by  the  electors  were  large 
enough  for  an  empire,  let  alone  a  colony.  Since  18G7,  Canada 
had  acquired  the  North- West  Territories,  had  given  a  pro- 
vincial constitution  to  part  of  these  Territories,  and  had  placed 
the  remainder  under  a  Territorial  Government.  For  the  peo- 
ple of  Canada  to  consider  whether  the  project  of  "  nation- 
building"  on  which  they  had  now  embarked  was  a  wise  one, 
and  whether  the  constitution  under  which  their  borders  were 
being  extended  was  consistent  with  the  interests  of  the  other 
Provinces,  were  issues  oi  no  ordinary  magnitude.  If  the 
foundations  were  well  ami  truly  laid,  the  prosperity  of  the 
country,  as  a  whole,  would  be  advanced.  If,  on  the  other 
hand,  popular  rights  were  disregarded,  dangerous  concessions 
made,  or  bad  precedents  estal)lished,  then,  like  the  union  of 
Ireland  with  Great  Britain  under  Pitt,  the  extension  of  her 
boundaries  would  have  been  elfected  at  the  expense  of  the 
future  comfort  and  well-being  of  the  Dominion. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  and  his  Liberal  allies  found  ainple  material 
in  the  blundering  of  the  Government  in  connection  with  tlie 
North- West  Territories,  and  in  the  organisation  of  the  Pro- 
vince of  Manitoba,  by  which  to  censure  the  Government  and 
to  array  public  feeling  against  them,  and  so  the  whole  train 
of  circumstances — the  expulsion  of  MacDougall  in'  18G9,  the 
murder  or  Scott  in  1870,  the  uprising  of  the  people,  rendering 
Colonel  Wolseley's  expedition  necessary,  and  the  suspected 
truculence  of  the  Administration  to  Sir  George  Cartier — were 
the  subjects  of  discussion  on  every  platform.  It  is  to  be 
feared  that  in  the  prominence  given  to  details  the  larger  ques- 
tions affecting  the  constitutional  issues  involved  were  lost 
sight  of. 


I 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


321 


The  terms  mnde  with  Britisli  Cohnnhia  were  also  before 
tlie  electors.  Were  these  terms  just  to  the  other  Provinces  ? 
Did  they  give  British  Cohiiiibia  more  influence  in  Parliament 
than  she  was  fairly  entitled  to  ?  The  covenant  ^  >  complete  a 
line  of  railway,  connecting  her  with  the  older  Provinces,  in 
twelve  years,  without  an  estimate  of  the  cost  of  such  an  un- 
dertaking, was  a  lit  subject  for  discussion.  And  here,  too,  it 
is  possible  that  the  rhapsodies  of  the  Conservative  stump- 
orator  over  the  extension  of  our  Dominion,  from  the  Atlantic 
to  the  Pacitic,  impressed  the  electors  more  than  the  risks  they 
were  taking  in  endorsing  the  policy  of  the  Government. 

Then,  there  was  the  power  taken  by  the  Government  to 
charter  a  company  for  the  construction  of  the  Canada  Pacific 
Railway,  and,  of  its  own  will  and  pleasure,  to  grant  such  a 
charter  to  whomsoever  it  pleased — capitalists,  members  of  the 
Senate,  members  of  the  House  of  Counuons,  contractors  or 
speculators,  all  of  whom  might  have  a  tinancial  interest  in  see- 
ing the  Government  sustained.  There  was  also  the  power  of 
handing  over  to  such  a  company  50,000,000  acres  of  land  and 
S30,000,000  of  hard  cash.  Would  the  country  approve  of  such 
prodigality  ?  Could  the  country  stand  such  a  burden  ?  Were 
we  not  going  too  fast  ?  Was  there  any  necessity  for  such  an 
expenditure  ?  And  here  again  every  attempt  to  obtain  a  sober 
answer  to  these  questions,  or  to  get  the  deliberate  judgment  of 
the  people  on  an  undertaking  so  rast,  was  interrupted  by  ap- 
peals to  the  imagination.  It  was  said :  "  If  the  union  is  to  be 
complete,  permanent,  and  strong,  West  and  East  must  bo 
bound  together  by  an  iron  band.  The  teeming  millions  of 
Europe  must  be  invited  to  settle  upon  our  fertile  prairies,  and 
the  manufacturers  of  Ontario  must  be  allowed  an  easy  en- 
trance to  the  markets  of  the  West.  England  will  leml  us  all 
U 


i»i# 


ill 


11:: 


322 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


the  money  we  want.  Let  us  not  be  faint-hearted.  T,et  us 
borrow  freely." 

The  selection  of  the  long  route  for  the  Intercolonial  Railway 
regardless  of  the  commercial  interests  of  the  whole  Dominion ; 
the  granting  of  "  better  terms  "  to  Nova  Scotia,  without  con- 
sidering the  rights  of  the  other  Provinces  to  a  readjustment 
at  the  same  time  of  the  financial  basis  on  which  they  entered 
the  union ;  the  abandonment  of  the  Fenian  claims  under  the 
Washington  Treaty  ;  the  surrender  of  Canadian  rights  on  the 
St.  Lawrence,  had  all  to  be  pronounced  upon  by  the  electors 
of  Canada.  Seldom,  indeed,  have  the  people  of  any  country 
been  called  upon  to  express  an  opinion  upon  greater  questions 
constitutional,  commercial,  or  financial.  That  such  questions 
could  arise  in  the  government  of  a  country,  suggests  the 
responsibility  which  representative  institutions  impose  upon 
those  who,  in  the  last  analysis,  hold  its  destiny  in  their  hands. 

The  Liberal  party  entered  upon  the  campaign  of  1872  with 
great  energy.  They  felt  they  had  a  strong  case  against  the 
Government,  and  were  determined  to  make  the  most  of  it, 
through  the  press  and  on  the  platform.  Sir  John  Macdonald 
and  his  colleagues  were  equally  active ;  and  Ontario,  as  usual, 
was  the  scene  of  many  conflicts  between  leaders  on  each  side. 
Mr.  Mackenzie,  who  had  charge  of  the  campaign  for  the  Liberal 
party,  placed  himself  at  the  disposal  ol  his  friends  throughout 
the  Province,  and  in  addition  to  the  burdens  of  his  own 
election,  did  valiant  service  for  the  Liberal  cause  in  many 
other  constituencies. 

One  of  the  most  interesting  episodes  in  the  campaign  was 
the  visit  paid  by  Sir  Jolm  Macdonald  to  the  county  of  Lamb- 
ton,  and  his  complete  discomfiture  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  at  a  pub- 
lic meeting  in  the  town  of  Sarnia.  The  Conservative  party 
was  veiy  anxious  that  Sir  John  Macdonald  should  address 


WF^ 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


323 


Is   own 
many 

Ign  was 

Lamb- 
,  a  pub- 
party 
(Idress 


the  electors.  Ir  he  could  only  be  prevailed  upon  to  give 
them  but  one  meeting,  Mr.  Mackenzie's  defeat  was  assured. 
As  in  the  case  of  Rhoderick  Dim,  they  believed  "  one  blast 
upon  his  bugle  horn  were  worth  a  thousand  men." 

The  Liberals  were  equally  anxious  for  his  appearance,  as 
they  believed  their  untitled  champion  was  more  than  a  match 
for  the  knighted  chieftain  of  the  Conservatives.     Public  ex- 
citement with  regard  to  this  great  meeting,  which  was  to  take 
place  at  Sarnia  on  the  21st  of  August — the  day  fixed  for  the 
nomination  of  candidates — became  more  intense  as  the  time 
approached.     By  special  trains  and  vehicles  of  all  descrip- 
tions, the  people  of  the  country  gathered  in  thousands.     Sir 
John  arrived  early  in  the  day  in  a  gun  boat  which  had  been 
chartered  to  bring  him  from  Goderich,  and  at  twelve  o'clock 
the  proceedings  were  opened  by  the  returning  officer  calling 
for  nominations.     Mr.  Mackenzie  was  in  tlic  best  of  form, 
and  appeared  to  be  determined  not  to  be  misunderstood  from 
want  of  plainness  in  speech — Sir  John's  presence  arousing  his 
best  energies.     Ho  first  expressed  his  great  pleasure  at  being 
confronted  by  the  leader  of  the  Conservative  party,  in  his 
own  riding,  as  it  gave  him  the  opportunity  of  saying  in  his 
presence,  as  fearlessly  as  ever  he  did  in  his  absence,  what  he 
tliought  of  his  policy  and  his  party.     During  the  course  of 
Mr.  Mackenzie's   speech   he    was   frequently  interrupted    by 
remarks  from  Sir  John  Macdonald.     "  I  was  going  to  call  him 
my  honorable  friend,"  Mr.  Mackenzie  said,  in  alluding  to  Sir 
John,  "  but  till  he  retracts  a  statement  he  made  on  the  King- 
ston hustings  I  cannot  call  him  that." 

Sill  John — I  certainly  won't  retract  ib. 

Mil.  Mackenzie— He  says  he  won't  retract  it.  I  defy  him 
to  prove  it.  Until  he  does  prove  it,  I  shall  trout  him  as  a 
slanderer. 


324 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Later  on,  Mr.  Mackenzie,  referring  to  the  desire  expressed 
by  8ir  John  Macdonald  that  he  (Mr.  Mackenzie)  should  join 
his  Government,  said  it  was  the  okl  story,  "  walk  into  my  par- 
lour said  the  spider  to  the  fly."  The  "  honorable  gentleman's 
parlour  was  a  very  dangerous  place  for  an^'^one  with  a  political 
character  to  enter,  and  no  one  ever  came  out  of  it  clean." 

Sill  John — How  about  Brown  ?     How  about  Brown  ? 

Mr.  Mackenzie — Mr.  Bi-own  never  entered  your  parlour. 
Mr.  Brown  and  you  sat  in  the  Cabinet  on  equal  terms. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  then  charged  Sir  John  Macdonald's  Govern- 
ment with  deceit  in  dealing  with  the  troubles  in  the  North- 
West  Territory,  quoting  froni  a  letter  addressed  by  Mr. 
MacDouirall  to  Mr.  Howe  in  LS70,  as  follows  :  "  Enoucfh  has 
transpired  to  satisfy  every  attenti\e  observer  that  it  nevei- 
was  your  policy  or  the  policy  of  a  majority  of  your  colleagues 
to  send  any  expedition  whatever  to  the  North- West.  The  in- 
dignant expression  of  public  opinion,  cliiefly  from  Ontario,  and 
the  bold  and  detenniiu'd  attitude  of  the  leaders  of  the  Oppo- 
sition in  Parliament  compelled  you  to  organize  the  force  and 
put  it  in  motion,  and  tiie  same  pul)lic  opinion  prevented  you 
from  recalling  it  after  it  had  reached  Thunder  Bay.  But  you 
did  the  next  best  thing  for  the  rebel  president — Riel ;  you  de- 
prived the  commander  of  the  expedition  of  the  power  to 
arrest  him  or  to  in\oku  the  aid  of  any  magistrate  fur  that 
purjioso." 

Speaking  of  the  "better  terms"  granted  to  Nova  Scotia,  lie 
pointed  out  the  dangerous  eti'ect  of  the  Government's  course, 
and  called  upon  Sir  John  Macdonald  to  say  what  he  would  do 
with  reference  to  the  "  better  terms"  to  New  Brunswick. 

Sm  John — What  would  you  do  ?  » 

Mil.  Mackenzie — Wait  till  my  (Government  is  formed  ;  then 
I  will  tell  you. 


i'-^' 


o 


O 

a 

« 
o 

s 

rt> 
w 


i'ii^ 


:i 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


827 


Sir  John — God  help  New  Brunswick  then. 

Mr.  Mackenzie — I  say,  God  help  Sir  John  Macdonald  then. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  closed  his  speech  by  a  review  of  the  finan- 
cial condition  of  the  country,  and  expressed  the  hope,  judging 
from  the  result  of  the  elections  thus  far,  that  the  Liberal 
party  would  not  be  much  longer  in  opposition. 

Sir  John  Macdonald's  reply  to  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  a  great 
disappointment  to  his  friends,  and,  instead  of  helping,  materially 
injured  the  prospects  of  the  Conservative  candidate,  Mr.Vidal. 

A  few  of  the  contests  of  this  election  deserve  special  notice. 
Sir  George  Cartier,  so  long  dictator  in  his  own  Province,  was 
defeated  in  Montreal  by  an  immense  majority,  and  had  to  look 
elsewhere  for  a  seat.  As  the  elections  in  ivlanitoba  had  not 
then  taken  place,  it  was  arranged  that  Attorney-General  Clark 
and  Riel,  who  were  the  candidates  for  Provencher,  should  re- 
tire in  his  favor.  Sir  Francis  Hincks,  Minister  of  Finance, 
who  expected  such  an  easy  victory  over  Mr.  Paterson  in  South 
Brant,  was  also  defeated.  A  seat  was  found  for  him  in  Bri- 
tish Columbia.  The  Hon.  William  MacDougall  again  offered 
himself  as  a  candidate  in  the  North  Riding  of  Lanark  in  the 
Conservative  interest;  but  his  criticism  of  the  Government 
after  his  return  from  the  North- West,  and  his  letters  to  Joseph 
Howe,  had  so  alienated  the  affections  of  his  old  constituents  as 
to  render  his  defeat  a  comparatively  easy  matter.  Mr.  Aquila 
Walsh,  Commissioner  on  the  Intercolonial  Railway,  was  de- 
feated in  North  Norfolk,  and  Mr.  A.  P.  Macdonald,  a  noted 
railway  contractor,  in  W^est  Middlesex. 

The  elections  of  1872  were  a  great  triumph  for  the  Liberal 
party,  and  for  the  policy  advocated  by  Mr.  Mackenzie,  as 
leader.  Had  he  been  permitted  to  grapple  with  his  opponents 
on  equal  terms,  the  Government  would  have  certainly  been 
defeated. 


! 


928 


TAFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


The  Conservatives  from  the  beginning  to  the  end  of  the 
campaign  were  put  upon  the  defensive,  and  their  defence  of 
the  mal-administration  of  the  past  five  years  was  completely 
broken  down  by  the  crushing  attacks  of  the  Liberal  leader. 
There  were  several  circumstances,  however,  which  operated 
to  their  advantage.  First,  as  the  elections  were  not  held  on 
one  and  the  same  day,  they  were  able  to  manufacture  a  cer- 
tain amount  of  public  opinion  in  their  favor  by  first  open- 
ing those  constituencies  in  which  they  were  most  likely  to  be 
successful.  Second,  they  used  the  power  which  it  was  always 
felt  open  voting  gave  to  the  Government  of  the  day,  and  that 
not  only  in  the  ordinary  sense  understood  by  undue  influence, 
but  in  a  far  more  questionable  sense.  Third,  as  will  be  after- 
wards shewn  through  the  influence  of  Sir  Hugh  Allan  and 
others,  they  had  at  their  disposal  an  election  fund  suffi- 
ciently largo  to  demoralize  thousands  of  the  electors;  and 
there  is  no  doubt  that  many  constituencies  were  aflfected  by 
the  corrupt  use  made  of  this  fund.  Fourth,  the  position 
taken  by  the  Liberal  party  with  regard  to  the  admission  of 
British  Columbia,  and  the  "  better  terms "  to  Nova  Scotia, 
was  represented  as  one  of  hostility  to  these  Provinces,  gen- 
erally, and  not  as  a  defence  of  the  Constitution,  which  it  really 
was. 

In  spite  of  all  tliese  circumstances,  Sir  John  Maclonald's 
strength  was  considerably  reduced,  and  in  the  Province  of 
Ontario,  particularly,  the  feeling  was  so  decided  as  to  leave 
him  again  largely  in  the  minoi'ity. 

The  Liberal  party  assembled  at  the  opening  of  Parliament 
in  1873  in  good  spirits.  Although  not  successful  in  the  elec- 
tion, their  ranks  were  greatly  strengthened,  and  they  were  con- 
fident that  even  if  the  Government  could  not  be  overthrown 
at  once,  its  tenure  of  office  would  be  of  short  dvu-ation. 


uikl's 
of 
leave 


elcc- 

con- 

rown 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


329 


The  House  was  duly  constituted  by  the  election  of  Mr.  Jas. 
Cockburn  Speaker,  after  which  His  Excellency  the  Earl  of 
Dufferin  was  pleased  to  make  his  first  speech  to  both  Houses 
of  Parliament. 

For  five  years  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  acted  as  leader  of  the 
Liberal  party,  although  not  formally  appointed  to  that  posi- 
tion. The  time  had  now  come,  in  his  opinion,  for  the  formal 
election  of  a  leader.  The  record  of  the  steps  taken  to  this 
end  is  fully  contained  in  a  letter  to  his  brother  Charles, 
written  from  Ottawa  on  Thursday,  March  Gth,  the  day  after 
the  House  met. 

"  We  had  a  meeting  of  the  Ontario  members  on  Tuesday 
afternoon.  I  gave  them  my  reasons  for  calling  them  together, 
and  told  them  that  Dorion  had  also  called  a  meeting  of  the 
Quebec  members,  both  meetings  being  with  a  view  of  forming 
a  complete  organization  under  one  leader ;  that  I  had  hitlierto 
acted  as  leader,  although  not  elected  to  that  office ;  that  I  was 
now  resolved  to  retire  from  the  position  ;  that  we  should 
have  a  friendly,  open  discussion  on  the  subject,  advising  them 
to  come  to  no  decision  until  we  could  all  meet  together.  I 
urged  them  to  consider  whether  it  would  most  advance  the 
general  interests  of  the  party  to  make  the  choice  from  Quebec 
rather  than  from  Ontario.  I  then  said  that  my  own  impres- 
sion was  that  the  preponderating  power  Ontario  held,  would 
probably  induce  members  from  all  sections  to  select  one  of 
the  members  from  that  Province,  and  in  that  case  I  thought 
Mr.  Blake  should  be  chosen,  as  his  splendid  al)ilities  and  his 
standing  in  the  country  gave  him  many  advantages,  while  his 
legal  knowledge  gave  him  additional  power,  placing  liim 
ahead  of  all  others  in  the  House.  Blake  then  spoke,  agreeing 
in  the  general  plans  I  suggested,  but  protesting  against  my 
conclusions.     He  spoke  of  my  success  during  the  last  five 


p 

i 

t 

n 

P 

ilii) 


430 


LIFE  OF  THE  JIOX.  A  LEX  A  XD  Eli  MACKENZIE. 


years,  and  said  the  local  Government  was  defeated  through 
my  efforts,  and  the  late  elections  were  carried  by  my  influ- 
ence and  exertions,  and  consequently  if  an  Ontario  man  were 
chosen,  it  must  be  me ;  and  at  any  rate  he  could  not  listen  to 
any  proposal.  One  or  two  expressed  themselves  in  favor  of 
Blake  in  preference  to  me,  all  the  others  avoided  any  com- 
parison, but  discussed  the  matter  fully.  Finally  it  was  dele- 
gated to  a  committee  to  consider.  This  committee  was  previ- 
ously appointed  to  confer  with  a  committee  from  Quebec, 
respecting  the  speakership  and  other  matters.  Our  commi  :tee 
were  Rymal,  Young,  Blake,  Richards  and  myself,  the  others, 
Dorion,  Holton,  Letellier,  Huntington  and  John  Young.  We 
had  three  long  meetings,  during  which  we  arrived  first  at  the 
conclusion  that  it  was  advisable  to  have  the  leader  from 
Ontario,  Blake  and  I  agreeing  that  all  Ontario  would  take 
Dorion  freely  if  they  considered  that  step  advisable.  They 
were  unanimous  against  it.  I  then  proposed  to  agree  on 
Blake,  each  of  us  promising  our  utmost  efforts  to  support 
him.  He  would  not  listen  to  it.  I  also  declined.  The  gen- 
eral meeting  was  adjourned  till  4  o'clock  this  afternoon. 
The  committee  met  again  at  10,  and  I  was  pressed  to  yield 
which  I  reluctantly  did.  Dorion  reported  the  result  of  the 
general  meeting.  Holton  moved  and  GeofFrion  seconded  th , 
motion  to  adopt  the  committee's  report  and  declare  me  leader 
of  the  whole  party.  This  was  at  once  put  by  the  chairman 
(John  Young)  and  carried  unanimously,  seventy  members 
being  present.  I  was  extremely  unwilling  to  accept  the  post 
again,  as  I  told  you,  but  at  last  I  saw  no  escape.  Of  course 
the  honor  is  a  great  one,  especially  when  accompanied  by 
such  speeches  as  Holton's,  Dorion's  and  Blake's,  and  conferred 
with  entire  unanimity.  I,  however,  feel  oppressed  with  the 
work  ahead  and  my  inability  to  do  such  work  as  one  in  my 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERXMENT. 


331 


position  should  do.  Political  leadership  should  also  exist 
where  circumstances  are  easy.  The  absence  ot"  that  condition 
caused  mo  to  determine  on  refusing  it,  and  even  now  I  fear  I 
liave  made  a  mistake  on  that  as  well  as  on  otlicr  grounds." 

Nothing  could  show  to  better  advantagtj  the  entire  absence 
of  selfishness  in  Mr.  Mackenzie  than  the  simple  narrative 
above  given.  He  could  not  be  unconscious  of  his  own 
strength,  as  he  had  already  crossed  swords  with  every  Con- 
servative of  any  standing  in  the  House.  Neither  could  he 
be  oblivious  to  the  influence  which  he  exerted  as  a  public 
man  upon  the  country,  and  the  a]ipreciation  with  which  his 
services  were  regarded  by  his  party,  and  yet  in  the  face  of  all 
those  circumstances,  he  is  more  than  willing  to  forego  the 
honor  of  the  leadership  in  favor  of  any  person  on  whom  the 
party  may  agree,  and  when  there  was  no  escape,  he  says,  "  I 
reluctantly  accepted,  perhaps  I  made  a  mistake."  There  is  no 
elbowing  of  his  way  to  the  front,  no  supercilious  disregard  of 
others'  claims,  i:0  arrogant  assertion  of  his  own  fitness  for 
the  position,  but,  on  the  contrar}',  a  humility  and  reticence 
worthy  of  the  highest  admiration. 

The  first  few  days  of  the  session  of  1878  were  occupied  in 
dealing  with  fraudulent  election  returns.  The  Liberal  candi- 
date for  West  Peterborough,  Mr.  John  Bertram,  received  745 
votes  at  the  general  election.  His  opponent  received  705 
votes.  Notwithstanding  this,  the  returning  officer  declared  the 
Conservative  candidate  duly  elected.  This  irregularity  was 
brought  before  the  House  on  a  motion  by  Mr.  Blake,  in  which 
the  gross  invasion  of  the  rights  of  Parliament  and  the  flag- 
rant violation  of  duty  by  the  returning  officer  were  exposed  in 
a  scathing  speech. 

Sir  John  Macd-jnald  asked  the  House  to  refer  the  whole 
matter  to  the  Committee  on  Privileges  and  Elections,  instead  of 


%  I 


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332  LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 

following  the  precedents  of  previous  Parliaments,  allowing  the 
candidate  having  the  majority  of  votes  to  take  the  seat.  This 
was  agreed  to  iu  a  vote  of  79  to  95,  or  a  Government  majority 
of  16. 

In  the  election  in  Mnskoka,  it  appears  that  Mr.  Cockburn, 
the  Liberal  candidate,  had  a  majority  of  the  votes  cast,  but 
that  the  Returning  Officer  declined  to  return  Mr.  Cockbuni  on 
account  of  certain  irregularities  in  the  election,  thus  leaving 
Muskoka  unrepresented.  From  their  narrow  majority  in  the 
previous  vote,  the  Government  declined  a  division  on  this 
case,  although  the  grounds  for  reference  to  a  committee  were 
much  stronger.  Tlie  Clerk  of  the  Crown  in  Chancery  was 
directed  to  amend  the  return,  and  Mr.  Cockburn  took  the  seat, 
of  which  he  would  have  been  deprived  during  the  whole  ses- 
sion, were  it  not  for  the  bold  step  taken  by  the  Opposition. 

There  were  disputes,  also,  with  regard  to  other  seats  in  On- 
tario and  in  the  Maritime  Provinces,  and  in  each  case  the 
Government  used  its  majority  to  strengthen  itself  in  the 
House. 

After  the  disputes  with  regard  to  contested  seats  were  dis- 
posed of,  the  House  was  called  upon  by  Mr,  Huntington  to 
consider  a  motion,  out  of  which  grew  the  disclosures  known  as 
the  Pacific  Scandal,  which,  to  the  regret  of  every  Canadian, 
has  been  a  reproach  to  the  country  from  that  day  till  now. 

By  the  Act  passed  the  preceding  year  respecting  the  Can- 
adian Pacific  llaihvay,  the  Government,  as  before  stated,  was 
authorized  to  charter  a  company  having  a  subscribed  capital 
of  at  least  810,000,000,  for  the  construction  of  this  road.  If 
more  than  one  company  should  be  formed,  power  was  given 
for  their  amalgamation.  Two  other  Acts  were  passed  during 
the  same  session  with  regard  to  the  same  railway.  One  was 
an  Act  to  incorporate  the  Inter-Oceanie  Railway  Company  of 


:"v 

il 

DOW y FALL  OF  THE  GOVEllNMEXT. 


333 


Canada,  at  the  head  of  wliicli  was  tlie  Hon.  David  MacPlier- 
son.  Tlie  other  was  an  Act  to  incorporate  the  C.  P.  K  Com- 
pany, at  the  head  of  which  was  Sir  Hu<^h  Alhin.  Tliese  three 
Acts  completed  the  scheme  for  the  buildinj^  of  the  road.  The 
Government  found   cojisiderable   difficulty  in  proceeding   on 


account  of  the  strength  of  the  rival  companies.  Mr.  IVFac- 
Pherson's  company  was  composed  largely  of  capitalists  from 
Ontario ;  Sir  Hugh  Allan's,  of  capitalists  from  Quebec.  To 
amalgamate  Uie  two  companies  seemed  to  be  impossible,  as 
Mr.  ilacpherson  insisted  upon  the  chairmanship  of  the  com- 
panies, if  amalgamated,  and  to  this  Sir  Hugh  objected. 

Sir  John  Macdonald,  finding  it  impossible  to  effect  a  union 
of  the  two  companies,  announced  the  intention  of  the  Gov- 
ernment to  promote  the  formation  of  a  new  one  out  of  the 
strongest  men  in  tlie  different  Provinces,  and  a  short  tiuie  be- 
fore the  meeting  of  the  House,  in  March,  1873,  such  an  organi- 
zation was  completed,  of  which  Sir  Hugh  Allan  was  elected 
chairman. 

The  large  subsidy  of  land  and  money  to  be  granted  to  the 
railway  excited  the  cupidity  of  Sir  Hugh  Allan  and  his 
friends,  and  as  during  1872  it  rested  with  the  Government  to 
say  wliich  of  the  companies  chartered  should  be  allowed  to 
construct  the  railway.  Sir  Hugh  Allan  proceeded  at  once  to 
ingratiate  himself  with  the  Government  by  providing  Sir 
John  Macdonald  liberally  with  funds  for  the  elections.  This 
becoming  known,  Mr.  Huntington,  on  the  2ud  of  April,  moved 
the  following  resolution : 


334 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


t|l| 


!  I 


"That  Mr.  Huntinprton,  a  member  of  the  House,  having 
stated  in  his  place  that  he  is  credibly  informed  and  believes 
that  he  can  establish  by  satisfactory  evidence ; 

"  That,  in  anticipation  of  the  legislation  of  last  session,  as 
to  the  Pacific  Railway,  an  agreement  was  made  between  Sir 
Hugh  Allan,  acting  for  liiniself,  and  certain  other  Canadian 
promoters,  and  G.  W.  McMullen,  acting  for  certain  United 
States  capitalists,  whereby  the  latter  agreed  to  furnish  all  the 
funds  necessary  for  the  construction  of  the  contemplated  rail- 
way, and  to  give  the  former  a  certain  per  cent,  of  interest,  in 
consiilcration  of  their  interest  and  position,  the  scheme  agreed 
on  being  ostensibly  that  of  a  Canadian  company  with  Sir 
Hugh  Allan  at  its  head  ; 

"  That  the  Government  were  aware  that  negotiations  were 
pending  between  these  parties; 

"  That  subsequently  an  understanding  was  come  to  between 
the  Government  and  Sir  Hugh  Allan  and  Mr.  Abbott,  M.P., — 
that  Sir  Hugh  Allan  and  his  friends  should  advance  a  large 
sum  of  money  for  the  purpose  of  aiding  the  elections  of  the 
Ministers  and  their  supporters  at  the  ensuing  general  election, 
and  that  he  and  his  friends  should  receive  the  contract  for  the 
construction  of  the  railway, 

"  That  accordingly  Sir  Hugh  Allan  did  advance  a  large  sum 
of  money  for  the  purpose  mentioned,  and  at  the  solicitation, 
and  under  the  pressing  instances,  of  Ministers  ; 

"  That  part  of  the  moneys  expended  by  Sir  Hugh  Allan  in 
connection  with  the  obtaining  of  the  Act  of  incorporation  and 
charter  was  paid  to  him  by  the  said  United  States  capitalists 
under  the  agreement  with  him.     It  is 

"  Ordered,  that  a  committee  of  seven  members  be  appointed 
to  enquire  into  all  the  circumstances  connected  with  the  nego- 
tiations for  the  construction  of  the  Pacific  Railway,  with  the 


nOnWFALL  OF  THE  QOVEliXMEXT. 


335 


legislation  of  last  session  on  the  subject,  and  with  the  grant- 
ing of  the  charter  to  Sir  Hugh  Allan  and  others ;  with  power 
to  send  for  persons,  papers  and  records  and  with  instructions 
to  report  in  full  the  evidence  taken  before,  and  all  proceedings 
of,  said  Committee." 

In  moving,  Mr.  Huntington  contented  himself  with  saying 
that  "  He  felt  compelled  by  a  deep  sense  of  duty  to  place  the 
motion  he  was  about  to  make  before  the  House  at  the  earliest 
possible  moment,  in  view  of  the  very  grave  question  raised. 
He  had  already  stated  in  his  place  that  he  was  credibly  in- 
formed that  arrangements  had  been  made  by  Sir  Hugh  Allan 
and  an  American  gentleman  representing  certain  American 
capitalists  for  the  construction  of  the  Pacific  Railway,  in  anti- 
cipation of  the  legislation  of  last  session ;  that  the  Government 
were  aware  of  this,  and  that  subsequently  arrangements  were 
made  between  the  Government  and  Sir  Hugh  Allan,  by  which 
a  large  sum  of  money  was  to  be  paid  to  the  Government  for 
the  purpose  of  influencing  the  recent  elections,  in  return  for 
which  Sir  Hugh  Allan  and  his  friends  were  free  to  receive  the 
contract  for  the  construction  of  the  railway,  and  that  this 
was  done." 

This  motion  was  regarded  by  the  Government  as  a  vote  of 
want  of  confidence,  which  no  doubt  it  was,  and  without  reply 
or  explanation,  or  even  denial,  a  vote  was  taken  and  the  Gov- 
ernment sustained  by  a  majority  of  31. 

On  the  next  day.  Sir  John  Macdonald  gave  notice  that  he 
would  ask  the  House  to  appoint  a  special  committee  to  incuire 
into,  and  report  upon,  the  several  matters  contained  and  stated 
in  Mr.  Huntington's  resolutions  just  voted  down,  the  com- 
tnittec  to  consist  of  Messrs.  Blanchet,  Blake,  A.  A.  Dorion, 
John  Hillyard  Cameron,  and  James  Macdonald,  of  Pictou. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  suggested  that  a  short  Act  should  be  passed, 


I 


11 


— ' [~tiri"itrifarfy  rrT;iirrr'-.n~ 


tfi 


'^m 


330 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDEIl  MACKENZIE. 


\ 

1 

I 


giving  power  to  the  coiumitteo  to  sit  cluring  recess  and  to  t.-iko 
evidence  under  oath.  To  tliis,  Sir  Jolin  Macdonald  agreed,  in- 
timating at  the  .same  time  that  he  had  doubts  as  to  the  power 
of  the  House  to  i)ass  such  an  Act. 

The  committee  met  on  the  17th  ot  April,  appointed  Joini 
Hillyard  Cameron,  chairman,  and  recommended,  as  their  first 
report,  that  an  Act  be  passed  to  enable  them  to  examine  wit- 
nesses on  oath.  A  Bill  for  this  purpose  passed  speedily 
through  both  Houses,  but  on  account  of  the  doubt  raised  by 
Sir  John  Macdonald,  His  Excellency  referred  it  to  the  home 
authorities.  On  the  3rd  of  May,  it  was  transmitted  to  Eng- 
land, and  on  the  27th  of  June  the  Earl  of  Kind)erley  tele- 
graphed the  Governor-General  that  the  Act  was  disallowed. 

Immediately  on  the  passing  of  the  Oaths  Bill,  a  meeting  of 
the  connnittee  was  called,  apparently  for  the  purpose  of  ex- 
amining Sir  Francis  Hincks,  who  had  been  summoned  as  a 
witness.  At  the  same  tune  Sir  John  Macdonald  appeared 
before  the  committee  and  stated  that  as  Sir  Hugh  Allan  and 
Ml'.  Abbott  were  absent  from  the  country  the  conuuittee  had 
lietter  ask  the  House  for  the  privilege  of  adjourning  to  some 
day  to  be  named  on  which  these  two  gentlemen  could  be  pre- 
sent. The  committee  concurred  in  Sir  John's  suggestion,  and 
reported  to  the  House  accordingly-.  Mr.  Huntington  and  the 
other  members  of  the  Liberal  party  objected  to  the  proposed 
adjournment.  Mr.  Huntington  .said  :  "  He  had  been  prepared 
for  days  to  proceed  u[)on  his  own  responsibility  with  the  in- 
vestigation. He  had  given  the  connnittei;  a  list  of  his  wit- 
nesses; that  if  the  committee  adjourned  for  two  or  threo 
months  he  might  not  be  in  the  same  position  as  he  was  now. 
as  in  the  interval  tliere  might  be  a  manipulation  of  the  A'it- 
ncsses  by  whom  the  charges  could  bo  proven.  If  the  p  djlio 
men  of  this  c!»uiitry  who  were  charged  with  this  crim    were 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


337 


innocent,  then,  by  all  means,  it  was  in  the  interests  of  the 
House  and  the  country  that  their  innocence  shoulr.  be  estab- 
lished as  early  as  possible.  If,  on  the  other  hand,  the  charges 
were  true,  they  had  all  a  deep  interest  that  the  proof  should 
be  forthcoming  and  that  they  should  wash  their  hands  of  this 
terrible  corruption  which  had  fastened  itself  upon  a  great 
enterprise  likely  to  exercise  immense  influence  in  the  coun- 
try. 

Sir  John  Macdonald  replied  to  Mr.  Huntington  in  a  very  vio- 
lent speech,  charging  him  with  taking  undue  advantage  of 
the  Government.  He  said  :  "  The  charge  was  a  foul  calumny. 
The  Government  denied  in  toto  the  charge.  On  behalf  of  the 
members  of  the  Government,  he  told  the  honorable  gentleman, 
Mr.  Huntington,  that  he  had  been  most  woefully  deceived,  for 
neitlier  by  word,  thought,  deed  nor  action  had  the  Govern- 
ment done  anytliing  of  which  they  could  or  ought  to  be 
ashamed  in  the  carrying  out  or  the  entering  into,  from  the 
beginning  to  the  ending  of  the  charter." 

Mr.  Mackenzie  replied  at  considerable  length  to  Sir  John 
Macdonald,  pointing  out  that  in  various  ways  the  investigation 
which  the  committee  was  appointed  to  conduct  had  been  de- 
layed, that  the  Government  appeared  to  fear  the  proposed  in- 
vtistigation,  and  that  now  the  postponement  of  furtiier  enquiry 
until  the  2nd  of  July  was  trilling  with  the  Hov.se. 

The  postponement  asked  for,  however,  was  granted  in  a 
vote  of  107  yeas  to  70  nays. 

In  order  that  the  conmiittce  miglit  take  evidence  during 
the  recess,  the  House  was  not  prorogued  at  the  end  of  the 
session  as  is  usual  but  simply  adjourned  till  the  ISth  of 
August,  at  which  time  it  was  expected  that  the  committee 
would  be  ready  to  make  a  report.  On  the  2nd  of  July,  the 
coiumittee  met  in  Montreal ;  but  as  it  was  found  tliey  could 


338 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDEU  MACKEXZIE. 


not  examine  witnesses  under  oath,  they  adjourned  until  the 
day  fixc<l  for  the  proroo-ation  of  ParhanK'nt. 

Sir  John  Macdonald  proposed  to  issue  a  royal  commission  to 
the  members  of  the  committee,  which  woukl  give  them  the 
power  to  examine  witnesses  as  was  desired.  Messrs.  Dorion 
and  Blake  both  declined  to  accept  a  commission.  Mr.  Blake's 
answer  to  Sir  John  Macdonald  was  most  spirited  : 

"  I  believe  that  it  wouUl  be  of  evil  consequences  to  create 
the  precedent  of  a  Government  issuing  a  Counnission  of  en- 
quiry into  matters  of  a  charge  against  itself,  the  Commission- 
ers being,  as  they  are,sul>ject  to  the  direction  and  control  of  the 
accusetl.  I  believe  that  the  acceptance  of  such  a  Counnission 
would  be  opposed  to  the  sense  of  the  House  of  Connnons,  as 
manifested  by  its  action  last  session,  and  v,  ould,  under  present 
circumstances,  be  calcuhited  to  prejudice  the  enquiry  orderoil 
by  the  House,  and  to  inq)air  the  full  and  (>llicient  exercise  ul' 
its  most  ancient  and  important  powers.  The  House  of  Com- 
mons does  not,  I  think,  expect  that  the  Crown,  or  any  one 
else,  least  of  all  the  members  of  its  own  conunittee,  will  inter- 
pose between  itself  and  the  great  enquiry  which  it  has  under- 
taken. Apart  from  these  and  other  ditliculties,  you  have  your- 
self interposed  a  barrier  to  my  acceptance  of  your  oiler.  Dur- 
ing my  absence  from  the  House  of  Conunons  last  session,  yon 
stated  in  your  phu'o  that  I  had  done  wrong  in  not  declining  to 
fullll  the  duty  of  Connnitteeman,  which  had  been  imposed  on 
me  by  tlie  House,  that  English  statesmen  in  my  position — 
which,  however,  you  misstated — would  have  scorned  to  do  as 
I  had  done,  and  that  my  speeches  during  tlu'  session  shewed 
that  your  Government  could  not  expect  fair  play  from  me  on 
the  enquiry.  I  shall  not  condescend  to  re|)ly  to  these  state- 
ments, but  I  have  to  say  tliat  altiiough  I  reluctantly  came  to 
the  conclusion  that  1  was  not  free  to  decline  to  serve  the 


l^ 


no WX FALL  OF  THE  OOVEnXMENT. 


339 


House,  of  wliich  I  am  a  member,  I  do  not  think  It  consistent 
with  my  self-respect  to  accept  the  commission  here  offered  by 
a  Minister  who  has  chosen  to  characterize  my  conduct.  I  have 
sent  a  copy  of  this  letter  to  Mr.  Cameron  for  his  information, 
as  chairman  of  the  committee," 

The  country  was  <^reatly  excited  on  account  of  the  appar- 
ently studied  efforts  of  the  Government  to  burke  an  in- 
vestioation,  and  the  evident  desire  of  some  members  of  the 
committee  to  encourage  such  delays. 

Whatever  powers  the  connnittee  had,  they  certainly  ceased 
on  the  13th  of  August.  But  public  opinion  had  become  so 
excited,  that  although  the  Government  had  got  rid  of  tlie 
committee,  they  could  not  get  rid  of  tlie  investigation. 

His  Excellency  the  Governor-General,  who  was  sunnnering 
in  the  3laritimc  Provinces,  considered  the  situation  sutliciently 
grave  to  warrant  his  return  to  the  capital  and  to  insist  that 
Parliament  should  be  called  in  six  »)r  fight  weeks,  so  that 
t'(>gnizance  might  be  taken  of  the  ciiarg'-s  made  by  Mr. 
JIuntington. 

The  Liberal  party,  having  been  deceived  so  often  1)\'  one 
excuse  after  another  for  delay,  determined  to  make  a  strong 
effort,  when  the  Speaker  took  the  chair  to  receive  the  usual 
suunnons  to  the  Senate  chaml»er  to  hear  His  ICxeellency's  ])ro- 
logation  speech,  to  place  a  resolution  in  the  Sjieaker's  hamls, 
and  force  the  discussion  of  the  jUestion  at  issue.  Tlu-y  feare^l 
that  if  the  House  was  prorogued  even  the  promised  Connnis- 
sion  would  not  be  appointed  ;  but  what  they  wei-e  most  anxious 
for  was  that  the  investigation  should  not  be  tak(!n  out  of  the 
hands  of  Parliament.  The  government  was,  however,  prepaivd 
for  any  action  of  this  kind.  The  usher  of  the  bhu'k  i-od, 
whose  duty  it  is,  wif,h  many  bows  and  genullexions,  to  sum- 
mon the  faithful  Gonunons  to  the  Senate  chamber  on  such 


i  tl 


i 


-    i-  .'-'.•!.  ■■■^""""^^  IT ni!m»rti<it.wiiiiiiij;.ij'.'^i.hu,.jiirj 


340 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE, 


occasions,  was  directed  to  stand  at  the  main  entrance  of  the 
Commons,  so  that  the  moment  the  Speaker  took  the  chair  he 
could  deliver  his  message  before  a  motion  from  any  member 
of  the  House  could  be  put  in  the  Speaker's  hands.  Mr. 
Mackenzie,  who  had  prepared  a  motion  which  embodied  the 
views  of  the  Opposition,  was  on  his  feet  before  the  Speaker 
had  scarcely  ascended  to  his  place,  and  began  to  address  the 
House  amid  shouts  and  jeers  from  the  Government  benches. 
The  usher  of  the  black  rod,  apparently  greatly  alarmed  at  the 
stormy  scene  on  which  he  had  intruded  himself,  stammered 
out  his  usual  orders :  "  I  am  commanded  by  His  Excellency 
the  Governor-General  to  acquaint  this  Honorable  House  that 
it  is  the  pleasure  of  His  Excellency  that  the  members  thereof 
do  forthwith  attend  him  in  the  Senate  chamber."  This  sum- 
mons the  Speaker  obeyed  with  the  utmost  alacrity,  and  left 
the  chair  while  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  vainly  endeavoring  to 
vindicate  the  honor  of  Parliament. 

This  coM.p  d'etat,  by  which  Parliament  was  got  rid  of,  greatly 
delighted  the  Conservative  party.  The  committee  which  had 
been  appointed  by  a  scries  of  evasions  was  not  permitted  to 
do  anything ;  Parliament  was  not  permitted  to  do  anything, 
and  it  seemed  to  the  Liberal  party  as  if  every  means  for  bring- 
ing the  offenders  to  justice  had  failed. 

Having  failed  with  Parliament,  they  next  appealed  to  His 
Excellency  the  Governor-General,  submitting  a  memorial  as 
follows,  signed  by  ninety  members  : 

"  The  undersigned,  members  of  the  House  of  Commons  of 
Canada,  desire  to  respectfully  approach  Your  Excellency  and 
humbly  to  represent  that  more  than  four  months  have  already 
elapsed  since  the  Honorable  Mr.  Huntington  made,  from  his 
place  in  the  House,  grave  charges  of  corruption  against  Your 
Excellency's  constitutional  advisers  in  reference  to  the  Pacific 


iv 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


341 


Railway  contract ;  that  although  the  House  has  appointed  a 
committee  to  enquire  into  the  said  charges,  the  proceedings  of 
this  committee  have,  on  various  grounds,  been  postponed,  and 
the  enquiry  has  not  yet  taken  place ;  that  the  honor  of  the 
country  imperatively  requires  that  no  further  delay  should  take 
place  in  the  investigation  of  charges  of  so  grave  a  character, 
and  which  it  is  the  duty  and  undoubted  right  and  privilege  of 
the  Commons  to  prosecute. 

"  The  undersigned  are  deeply  impressed  with  the  conviction 
that  any  attempt  to  postpone  this  enquiry,  or  to  remove  it 
from  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Commons,  would  create  the  most 
intense  dissatisfy  ction  ;  and  they  thorefore  pray  Your  Excel- 
lency not  to  prorogue  Parliament  until  the  House  of  Connuons 
shall  have  an  opportunity  of  taking  such  steps  as  it  may  deem 
necessary  and  expedient  with  reference  to  this  important 
matter. 

"  The  names  signed  to  this  document  were  as  follow  : 
"Opposition. — Anglin,  Archibald,  Bain,  Bechard,  Bergin, 
Blain,  Blake,  Bodwell,  Bourassa,  Bowman,  Boyer,  Brouse,  Buell. 
Burpee  (Suubury),  Cameron  (Huron),  Cart w right,  Casey,  Cas- 
grain,  Canchon,  Charlton,  Church,  Cockburn  (Muskoka),  Cook, 
Cutler,  Delorme,  St.  George,  Dorion,  A.  A.,  Dorion,  H.  P.,  Edgar, 
Ferris,  Findlay,  Fiset,  Fleming,  Fournier,  Galbraith,  Geoffrion, 
Gibson,  Gillies,  Goudge,  Hagar,  Harvey,  Higginbotham,  Holton, 
Horton,  Huntington,  Jettd,  Laflamme,  Landerkin,  Macdonald 
(Glengarry),  Mackenzie,  Mercier,  Metcalfe,  Mills,  Oliver,  Paquet, 
Paterson,  Pearson,  Pelletier,  Pickard,  Poser,  Prevost,  Riciiard, 
Richards,  Ross  (Prince  Edward),  Ross  (Durham),  Ross  (Wel- 
lington), Ross  (Middlesex),  Rymal,  Smith  (Peel),  Snyder 
Stirton,  Taschoreau,  Thompson,  Thomson,  Tremblay,  Tnnv, 
White  (Halton),  Wilkes,  Wood,  Young  (Waterloo),  Young 
(Montreal). 


TTr^^^"' 


mm 


342 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


"  Ministerialists. — Burpee  (St.  John),  Coffin,  Cunningham, 
Forbes,  Glass,  Macdonell  (Inverness),  Ray,  Schultz,  Scriver, 
Shibley,  D.  A.  Smith  (Selkirk),  A.  J.  Smith  (Westmoreland)." 

In  his  reply  to  this  memorial,  the  Governor-General  said 
that  "  To  accept  the  advice  tendered  him  would  be  simply  tc 
dismiss  from  his  councils  his  responsible  Ministers.  It  is 
true,  grave  charges  have  been  preferred  against  these  gentle- 
men— charges  which  I  admit  require  the  most  searching  in- 
vestigation, but,  as  you  yourselves  rema)'kcd  in  your  memo- 
randum, the  truth  of!  these  accusations  still  remains  untested. 

"  Under  these  circumstances,  what  right  has  the  Governor- 
General,  on  his  personal  responsibility,  to  proclaim  to  Canada, 
nay,  not  only  to  Canada,  but  to  America  and  Europe,  as  such 
a  proceeding  on  his  part  must  necessarily  do,  that  he  believes 
his  Ministers  guilty  of  the  cimcs  alleged  against  them  ? 
Were  it  possible  at  the  present  time  to  make  a  call  of  the 
House,  and  place  myself  in  a  direct  communication  with  the 
Parliament  of  the  Dominion,  my  present  embarrassment 
would  disappear,  but  this  is  a  pliysical  impossibility.  I  am 
as.sured  by  my  Prime  Minister,  and  the  report  of  the  proceed- 
ings at  the  time  bears  out  his  statements,  that  wlien  Parlia- 
ment adjourned  it  was  announced  by  him,  as  the  leader  of  the 
House,  that  the  meeting  on  the  13th  of  August  would  be 
immediately  followed  by  prorogation ;  that  no  substantive 
objection  was  taken  to  this  announcement,  and  that,  as  a  con- 
sequence, a  considerable  portion  of  your  fellow  members  are 
dispersed  in  various  directions.  I  should,  therefore,  only 
deceive  myself  were  I  to  regard  the  present  Assembly  as  a 
full  Parliament." 

He  then  stated  that  a  Royal  Commission  would  be  issued 
at  once  to  three  gentlemen  of  high  legal  standing,  and  that 
Parliament  would  be  assembled   within    two   months  or  ten 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVEUNMEXT. 


343 


weeks  of  the  date  of  prorogation,  "to  take  supreme  and  final 
ct)gnizancc  of  the  case  now  pendnig  between  his  ministers  and 
their  accusers." 

The  members  of  Parliament  who  had  simicd  the  rcmon- 
strance  to  His  Excellency  and  their  friends  then  assembled 
in  the  railway  committee  room  of  the  House,  to  protest 
against  the  prorogation  of  Parliament  while  grave  charges 
were  hanging  over  the  ministers.  Vigorous  speeches  were 
delivered  by  various  members.  Mr.  Ahickenzie  said  that  "  in 
this  couvitry  which  was  governed  by  Parliament,  a  cry  would 
go  out  from  end  to  end  of  the  land  against  the  indignity 
which  had  been  put  upon  it,  and  if  the  Government  sought  to 
escape  from  the  consequences  of  their  crime,  they  would  find 
that  their  action  would  only  tend  to  intensify  the  feeling.  It 
now  became  the  members,  as  rulers  of  the  country,  to  do 
nothing  unseemly,  but  to  take  every  step  to  maintain  their 
dignity,  and  at  the  same  time  to  use  every  legitimate  and 
lawful  means  to  obtain  the  opinion  of  the  country." 

Mr.  Blake  was  specially  vigorous  in  his  demand  for  inves- 
tigation. "  Parliament,"  he  said,  "  was  the  proper  court  of 
enquiry  for  charges  against  ministers.  To  prorogue  Parlia- 
ment when  such  charges  were  pending,  and  to  substitute  a 
Commission  appointed  by  the  accused  for  a  connnittee  of  the 
House,  was  trilling  with  the  prerogatives  of  Parliament.  He 
hoped  there  would  bo  an  investigation,  not  by  gentlemen  in 
the  dock,  but  by  those  who  should  be  chosen  by  Parliament  in- 
ditferently  to  try  the  question  of  innocence  or  guilt,  and  make 
an  exhaustive  examination  of  the  evidence." 

Speeches  were  delivered  by  Mr.  Huntington  and  other  mem- 
bers of  Parliament,  in  defence  of  the  right  of  the  House  to 
determine  1k)\v  its  honor  should  be  protected  against  a  cor- 
rupt Guvennnent. 


ill 


! 
I 


'^"^mufir^^mimi^sssssssisssigSi 


344 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


On  the  14th  of  August,  a  Royal  Commission  was  issued  to 
Judge  Day,  of  the  city  of  Montreal;  Judge  Polette,  of  the  city 
of  Three  Rivers,  and  Judge  Gowan,  of  the  town  of  Barrie,  with 
instructions  to  make  enquiry  into  Mr.  Huntington's  charges 
against  the  Government. 

The  Commission  was  summoned  to  meet  on  the  4th  day  of 
September,  and  Mr.  Huntington  was  invited  to  submit  a  list 
of  witnesses  and  to  proceed  with  the  prosecution.  Mr.  Hunt- 
ington declined  to  appear  before  the  Commissioners.    He  said : 

"  I  deem  it  inconsistent  with  my  duty  as  a  member  of  Par- 
liament, and  a  breach  of  the  undoubted  privileges  of  the 
House,  to  recognize  any  inferior  or  exceptional  tribunal  cre- 
ated to  enquire  into  the  charges  still  pending  before  the  Com- 
mons, and  so  essential  to  the  privileges,  dignity  and  independ- 
ence of  Parliament.  I  believe  that  it  is  a  breach  of  those 
privileges  that  a  Royal  Commission,  issued  without  the 
special  sanction  of  the  House,  should  take  any  cognizance  of, 
or  should  assume  to  call  on  me  to  justify  words  which  I  have 
spoken  on  the  floor  of  the  Connnons,  and  for  which  I  am 
responsible  to  them,  and  to  them  only.  I  feel  that  I  should 
do  no  act  which  may  be  construed  into  an  acquiescence  in  the 
attempt  to  remove  from  the  Commons  the  conduct  and  con- 
trol of  the  enquiry.  I  believe  that  the  creation  of  a  Com- 
mission involves  a  breach  of  that  fundamental  principle  of 
the  Constitution  which  preserves  to  the  Commons  the  riglit 
and  duty  of  initiating  and  controlling  enquiries  into  high 
political  offences ;  that  it  involves  also  a  breach  of  that  funda- 
mental principle  of  justice  wliich  prevents  the  accused  from 
creating  the  tribunal  and  controlling  the  procedure  for  their 
trial,  and  that  it  is  i\  Commission  without  precedent,  unknown 
to  the  common  law,  unsanctioned  by  the  statute  law,  provid- 
ing by  an  exercise  of  the  prerogative  for  an  enquiry,  out  of 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


345 


the  ordinary  course  of  justice,  into  misdemeanors  cognizable 
to  the  courts,  and  consequently  illegal  and  void." 

The  Commission  reported  to  His  Excellency  the  Governor- 
General  on  the  17th  of  October,  and  on  the  23rd  Parliament 
re-assembled.  On  the  27tli,  His  Excellency's  speech  came  up 
for  consideration.  On  the  second  paragraph  having  been 
submitted  to  the  House,  Mr.  Mackenzie  moved  an  amendment 
as  follows :  "  We  have  to  acquaint  His  Excellency  that  by 
their  course  in  reference  to  the  investigation  of  the  charges 
preferred  by  Mr.  Huntington  in  his  place  in  this  House,  and 
under  the  facts  disclosed  in  the  evidence  laid  before  us,  His 
Excellency's  advisers  have  merited  the  severest  censure  of  the 
House."  On  this  motion,  the  Opposition  challenged  the  Govern- 
ment to  a  discussion  of  the  charges  made  by  Mr.  Huntington, 
and  to  a  trial  of  strength  on  a  division,  if  the  Government 
would  allow  the  matter  to  go  so  far. 

The  ministers  were  now  at  bay.  There  was  no  escaping 
from  the  judgment  of  the  House.  Mr.  Mackenzie's  motion 
had  to  be  discussed  and  voted  upon,  and  it  was  for  the  House 
to  say  whether  the  evidence  submitted  by  the  Commissioners 
would  justify  the  condemnation  of  tlie  Government. 

The  opening  speech  of  the  debate  was  made  by  Mr.  Macken- 
zie. He  reviewed  the  evidence  submitted  by  the  Commission- 
ers, making  copious  extracts  from  Sir  Hugh  Allan's  letters 
and  from  the  correspondence  between  Sir  John  Macdonald 
and  Sir  Geo.  E.  Cartier. 

It  is  impossible  to  do  more  than  to  quote  some  of  the  aptest 
passages  from  a  few  of  these  letters.  For  instance,  "  I  think 
we  will  have  to  go  it  blind  in  the  matter  of  money — cash 
payments.  I  have  already  paid  $8,500  and  have  not  a  voucher, 
and  cannot  get  one." — (Signed,  Sir  Hugh  Allan.) 

"  We  yesterday  signed  an  agreement  by  wliicli  on  certain 


1;^ 


i  TT^ 


316 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDER  MACKENZIE. 


monetary  conditions  the  Government  a^^rees  to  form  a  com- 
pany of  which  I  am  to  bo  President  to  suit  my  views,  to  give 
me  and  my  friends  a  majority  of  the  stock,  and  to  give  the 
company  so  formed  the  contract  to  build  the  Canadian  Pacific 
Railway. 

"  The  friends  of  the  Government  will  expect  to  be  assisted 
with  funds  on  the  pending  elections,  and  any  amount  which 
you  or  your  company  shall  advance  for  that  purpose  shall  be 
recouped  to  you.     A  memorandum  of  the  immediate  reipiire- 

ment  is  below  : — 

"NOW   WANTED. 

"Sir  John  A.  Macdonald,  $25,000;  Hon.  Mr.  Langevin, 
$15,000;  Sir  George  E.  Cartier,  $20,000;  Sir  J.  A.  Macdonald, 
additional,  810,000 ;  Hon.  Mr.  Langevin,  additional,  $10,000 ; 
Sir  George  E.  Cartier,  $30,000."— CCeorr/e  E.  Cartier  to  Sir  H. 
Allan.) 

"Immediate;  private.  I  must  have  another  $10,000;  will 
be  the  last  time  of  calling.  Do  not  fail  me.  Answer  to-day." 
— (John  A.  Macdonald  to  Abbott.) 

"Draw  on  me  for  $10,000." — (Abbott  to  John  A.  Macdcnald.j 

"  In  the  absence  of  Sir  Hugh  Allan,  I  shall  be  obliged  by 
your  supplying  the  central  committee  with  a  further  sum  of 
$20,000  upon  the  same  conditions  as  the  amount  written  by 
me  at  the  foot  of  my  letter  to  Sir  Hugh  Allan  of  the  30th 
ultimo. 

"  P.  S. — Please  also  send  Sir  John  Macdonald  $1 0,000  more 
on  the  same  terms." — (Mr.  Cartier  to  Mr.  Abbott.) 

Mr.  Mackenzie  was  followed  by  Dr.  Tupper,  who  claimed 
that  the  Government  had  done  nothing  wrong,  and  that  a  vote 
of  ;vant  of  confidence,  proposed  by  Mr.  Mackenzie,  was  entire- 
ly uncalled  for.  Dr.  Tupper's  speech  called  Mr.  Huntington 
to  his  feet,  who,  in  the  most  scathing  terms  denounced  the 


ftsWW  R 


DOWNFALL  OF  lllK  UOVEUNMENT. 


347 


Government  for  trafTicking  in  pul»Hc  contracts,  with  the  view 
oi  keepinfj  themselves  in  power.  He  appej  Jed  to  the  members 
to  the  House  not  to  allow  the  honor  of  Parliament  to  be  tram- 
pled in  the  dust  by  men  so  rci^ardless  of  the  j]freat  trust  com- 
mitted to  them.  He  shewed  how  jealous  the  EnfrUsh  House 
of  Commons  has  alwaj's  been  of  its  honor,  and  appealed  to  in- 
dependent members  of  the  House  to  make  themselves  heard 
in  this  great  crisis. 

Mr.  Macdonald,  of  Pictou,  a  member  of  the  committee  ap- 
pointed by  the  House  to  investigate  the  charges,  replied  to 
Mr.  Huntington. 

On  tlie  fourth  day  of  the  debate,  Sir  John  Macdonald  rose 
to  make  his  defence,  and  occupied  for  that  purpose  a  period 
oi  about  five  hours.  He  was  evidently  impressed  with  the 
gravity  of  the  situation,  and  determined  that  the  opinion 
of  the  House,  which  was  daily  becoming  stronger  against  him, 
should  be  turned  in  his  favor,  if  it  lay  in  his  power  so  to  do. 
In  the  course  of  his  speech  he  reviewed  the  whole  history  of 
the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway,  the  charters  to  different  com- 
panies, and  the  progress  of  legislation  for  the  purpose  of 
connecting  the  East  with  the  West.  He  enlarged  upon  the 
desirability  of  obtaining  a  Canadian  company  for  a  Canadian 
enterprise,  and  pointed  out  the  necessity  for  supporting  a 
Government  that  was  favorable  to  the  development  of  the 
country  in  this  way.  He  concluded  his  speech  by  a  fervent 
appeal  for  the  support  of  the  House : 

"  But,  sir,  I  commit  myself,  the  Government  commits  itself 
to  the  hands  of  this  House,  and  far  beyond  the  House,  it 
commits  itself  to  the  country  at  large.  We  have  faithfully 
done  our  duty.  We  have  fought  the  battle  of  Confederation. 
We  have  fought  the  battle  of  union.  We  have  had  party 
strife,  setting  Province  against  Province;  and,  more  than  all, 


) 


1^ 
I." 


348 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


we  have  had  in  the  greatest  Province,  the  prcponderatinfj 
Province  of  the  Dominion,  every  prejudice  and  sectional  feel- 
ing that  could  be  arrayed  against  us.  I  have  been  the  victim 
of  that  conduct  to  a  great  extent,  but  I  have  fought  the 
battle  of  Confederation,  the  battle  of  union,  the  battle  of  the 
Dominion  of  Canada.  I  throw  myself  upon  this  House ;  I 
throw  myself  upon  this  country ;  I  throw  myself  upon  pos- 
terity, and  I  believe  that  I  know  that,  notwithstanding  the 
many  failings  in  my  life,  I  shall  have  the  voice  of  this  country 
and  this  House  rallying  round  me.  And,  sir,  if  I  am  mis- 
taken in  that,  I  can  confidently  appeal  to  a  higher  court — to 
the  court  of  my  own  conscience,  and  to  the  court  of  posterity. 
I  leave  it  with  this  House  with  every  confidence.  I  am  equal 
to  either  fortune.  I  can  see  past  the  decision  of  this  House, 
either  for  or  against  me,  but  whether  it  be  for  or  against  me, 
I  know,  and  it  is  no  vain  boast  for  me  to  say  so,  for  even  my 
enemies  will  admit  that  I  am  no  boaster — that  there  does  not 
exist  in  Canada  a  man  who  has  given  more  of  his  time,  more 
of  his  heart,  more  of  his  wealth,  or  more  of  his  intellect  and 
power,  such  as  they  may  be,  for  the  good  of  this  Dominion  of 
Canada." 

Mr.  Blake  rose  at  a  quarter  past  two  in  the  morning  to 
reply  to  Sir  John  Macdonald.  The  opening  sentences  of  his 
address  were  particularly  apt.  Referring  to  Sir  John  Mac- 
donald's  appeal  to  the  intelligent  judgment  of  the  House,  the 
country  and  posterity  in  vindication  of  his  conduct,  he  said : 
"  When  he  (Sir  John  Macdonald),  was  called  upon  by  reason 
and  argument  to  sustain  his  course  at  the  last  general  election, 
and  to  prove  his  title  to  the  confidence  of  his  country,  it  was 
not  to  these  high  and  elevating  sentiments  he  appealed,  it 
was  not  upon  the  intelligent  judgment  of  the  people  he  relied. 
but  it  was  upon  Sir  Hugh  Allan's  money  which  he  obtained 


Il  PI 


DOWNFALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


349 


by  the  sale  of  the  rights  of  tlie  Canadian  people  which  he 
held  in  trust." 

Mr.  Blake's  speech  v;as,  throughout,  a  masterly  argument 
in  favor  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  vote  of  want  of  confidence.  "  Let 
us  not  be  carried  away  by  the  absurd  notion,"  he  said,  "  that 
there  is  a  distinction  between  the  standards  of  public  and 
private  virtue ;  let  us  not  be  carried  away  by  the  notion  that 
that  may  be  done  in  secret,  which  it  is  a  shame  to  be  known 
in  public.  Let  our  transactions  be  open,  and,  as  the  shame 
exists  as  it  has  been  discovered,  as  it  has  been  conclusively 
established,  as  it  has  been  confessed,  let  us  by  our  vote,  re- 
gretfully it  may  be,  give  the  perpetrators  of  it  their  just 
reward.  Influence,  I  am  aware,  may  be  used  to  prevent  this 
result,  but,  I  am  loath  to  suppose  that  it  should  ever  be  said 
of  a  Canadian  Parliament,  what  a  poet  in  the  neighboring 
republic  has  said  of  the  representative  body  of  that  country, 
when  he  described  it  thus : 

"  Underneath  yon  dome,  whose  coping 

Springs  above  them,  vast  and  tall, 
Grave  men  in  the  dust  are  groping 

For  tlic  hirgess,  mean  and  small, 
Which  the  hand  of  power  is  scattering  ; 

Crumbs  that  from  the  table  fall. 

"Base  of  heart,  they  vilely  barter 

Honors,  wealth,  for  party,  place  ; 
Step  by  step,  in  freedom's  charter, 

Leaving  foot-prints  of  disgrace, 
For  the  day's  poor  pittance, 

Turning  from  the  great  hope  of  their  race." 

Notwithstanding  the  vigorous  onslaught  made  by  the  Op- 
position on  the  Government,  it  was  not  until  some  of  the 
independent  members  of  the  House  declared  themselves  that 
it  became  evident  their  days  were  numbered.     Many  of  their 


r 

• 

3J0 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


supporters  had  carried  the  elections  by  the  aid  of  Sir  Hugli 
Allan's  money.  That  they  should  stand  by  the  Government, 
was  quite  natural.  There  were  others,  however,  who  were 
not  bound  to  the  Conservative  party  by  any  particular  obliga- 
tion. On  the  support  of  these  they  could  not  count  with  so 
nmeh  confidence. 

Mr.  Laird,  of  Prince  Edward  Island,  was  tbe  first  independ- 
ent member  to  speak.  He  was  followed  by  Mr.  Donald  A. 
Smith,  of  Manitoba,  whose  speech  created  great  excitement  iu 
the  House.  Neither  party  knew  what  course  Mr.  Smith  was 
going  to  take,  although  both  sides  looked  for  his  support,  and 
as  a  vote,  one  way  or  the  other,  might  decide  the  fate  of  the 
Government,  every  word  he  uttered  was  listened  to  with  the 
greatest  anxiety.  His  exordium  appeared  favorable  to  the 
Goveriunent,  and  was  loudly  applauded  iVom  the  ministerial 
benches.  "  With  respect  to  the  transaction  between  the  Gov- 
ernment and  Sir  Iluii-h  Allan,  he  did  not  consider  that  the 
First  Minister,  took  the  money  with  any  corrupt  motive.  He 
felt  tliat  the  leader  of  the  Government  was  incapablt;  of  tak- 
ing money  from  {?ir  Hugh  Allan  for  corrupt  purposes.  Ho 
would  be  moi>t  willing;  to  vote  confidence  in  the  Government — 
(Loud  cheers  from  the  Government  side) — could  he  do  so  con- 
scientiously. (Opposition  cheers  and  laughter.)  It  was  witii 
very  great  regret  that  he  felt  ho  could  not  do  so.  For  the 
honor  of  the  country,  no  Government  should  exist  that  has  ;i 
shadow  of  suspicion  of  this  kind  resting  on  them,  and  for  that 
reason  lie  could  not  support  them."  (Renewed  opposition 
cheers.) 

Mr.  Smitli's  speech  was  delivered  shortly  before  the  ad- 
journment of  the  House,  about  one  o'clock  in  the  morning  ol 
the  5tli  of  Nov.,  and  with  it  the  confidence  of  the  ministerial 
party  vanisluMl.    Tliat  al'ternoon,  at  tliree  o'clock,  on  the  reas- 


DO Wy FALL  OF  THE  GOVERNMENT. 


351 


scmbling  of  the  members,  Sir  John  Macdonald  announced  that 
he  had  placed  his  resignation  in  His  Excellency's  hands  and 
that  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  called  upon  to  form  a  new  adminis- 
tration. 


.^.. 


7^^>^>^ 


€>0 


'J'lie  political  corruption  disclosed  by  the  r.icific  scandal 
was  a  great  shock  to  the  country.  It  was  long  suspected  that 
Sir  John  Macdonald,  either  by  himself  or  by  his  authorized 
agents,  had  frequently  drawn  upon  Government  contractors 
for  election  purposes.  Never  before,  however,  had  it  been 
known  the  extent  to  which  such  drafts  wore  made,  and  never 
before  was  it  thouo-ht  that  ministers  would  become  so  cm- 
boldened  in  corruption  as  to  ask  over  their  own  signatures  for 
such  largo  amounts  of  money.  The  press  of  the  country 
was  loud  in  its  denunciations  of  what  liad  taken  |tlace,  and 
tlie  almost  universal  feelinix  was  that  the  honor  of  Canada 
was  irreparably  compromised. 

To  those  who  looked  upon  the  public  morality  of  Canada 
as  a  matter  of  pride,  the  humiliation  was  great  indeed.  Com- 
parisons formerly  made  with  politicians  in  the  T"^nited  States 
had  now  to  be  dropped.  The  Tannnany  ring  and  boss  Tweed 
Were  duplicated  on  Canadian  soil. 

With  the  defeat  of  the  (lovernment,  the  jiowcr  of  Parlia- 
nicnt  was  to  a  certain    extent   vindiratcd.     That   Sir  John 


352 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Macdonald  ever  regained  the  confidence  which  he  had  for- 
feited by  the  sale  of  the  Pacific  Railway  charter  to  Sir  Hugh 
Allan,  is  one  of  the  most  extraordinary  circumstances  in  his 
career.  To  retain  ofiice  by  a  double  shufile,  in  connivance 
with  the  Governor-General,  was  comparatively  a  small  matter. 
To  form  a  coalition  with  the  Liberals,  and  then,  by  a  series  of 
cunning  manipulations,  to  use  it  for  his  own  party  purposes, 
was  but  an  illustration  of  the  art  of  a  clever,  though  unprinci- 
pled, tactician.  But  '^^o  sell  to  a  common  stock-jobber,  almost 
on  the  open  market,  a  railway  charter,  in  order  to  supply  him- 
self with  election  funds,  is  an  otlence  which  one  would  have 
thought  the  country  would  not  soon  forgive  or  forget,  and  yet 
a  few  days  after  his  defeat  in  the  House  his  friends  elected 
him  leader  of  the  Conservative  party,  and  five  years  later 
the  country  returned  him  at  the  head  of  an  overwhelming 
majority. 

When  the  Government  was  on  its  trial,  and  when  its  defeat 
was  all  but  certain,  Mr.  E.  B.  Wood  expressed  the  universal 
opinion  of  the  House  when  he  said :  "  Before  many  days  the 
Government  will  have  fallen  like  Lucifer,  never  to  rise  again." 
Dr.  Tupper  interjected,  "but  we  sliall  rise."  Mr.  Wood  re- 
plied :  "  Yes,  but  not  till  the  resurrection  morn,  when  the 
last  trump  shall  sound."  Mr.  Wood's  prophecies,  unfortun- 
ately, were  not  fulfilled.  The  Government  did  arise  long  be- 
fore the  time  specified,  to  re])cat,  we  fear,  on  several  occasions, 
the  corrupt  practices  for  which  they  were  condemned  in  1873, 
and  to  discredit  in  many  ways  the  honor  and  dignity  of 
Canada. 


CHAPTER    XXV. 


THE    NEW   ADMINISTKAIION. 


Tlie  hew  Cabinet — Dissolution  of  tlie  House — Address  to  tlic  Electors  of 
Lanibton — Meeting  of  Parliament — Mr.  Mackenzie's  Ditficulties— Discontent 
of  British  Columbia — The  Carnarvon  Terms — Visit  of  Lord  Dufferin — 
Brilliant  Speecli  at  Victoria— Irritation  Allayed — Now  Reciprocity  Treaty 
Considered — Honoral)le  George  Brown  at  Washington — Treaty  agreed  upon 
— Rejected  by  the  Senate — Mr.  Mackenzie's  Loyalty  to  Canada — Mr. 
Cartwright's  First  Budget  Speecli— New  Tariff  Bill  — Pacific  Railway  Bill- 
Mr.  Mackenzie's  Military  Career — Military  College — New  Election  Bill. 

N  the  resignation  of  Sir  John  Macdonald  and  his 
Government,  His  Excellency  the  Governor-Gen- 
eral called  upon  Mr.  Mackenzie  to  form  a  new 
administration.  The  task  assigned  him  was  not 
an  easy  one,  particularly  as  it  was  necehsary  that  the 
Government  should  not  only  represent  the  strongest  men 
in  the  Liberal  ranks,  from  a  Dominion  standpoint,  but  that 
it  should  also  be  composed  of  men  most  acceptable  to  the 
party.  To  make  such  a  choice  as  would  enable  him  to  place 
at  the  head  of  the  various  departments  of  t^ate,  men  qualified 
for  the  special  work  assigned  them  and  who  would  at  the 
same  time  bring  him  the  political  strength  in  each  pro- 
vince which  he  re(]uired,  was  the  basis  on  which  his  choice 
had  to  be  made.  His  own  experience  warranted  him  in 
taking  the  department  of  Public  Works.  To  Mr.  Cartwright 
was  assigned  the  department  of  Finance.  Mr  David  Christie, 
a  member  of  the  Senate,  was  made  Secretary  of  State ;  Mr. 
w  3.53 


854 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


D.  A.  Mactlonald,  Postmaster-General;  and  Mr,  Blake  and 
tlie  Hon.  R  W.  Scott  were  appointed  members  of  the 
Executive  without  portfolio.  Tiie  Province  of  Quebec  was 
represented  by  Mr.  A.  A.  Dorion,  Minister  of  Justice  ;  Letellier 
St.  Just,  as  Minister  of  Agriculture  ;  and  Telesphore  Fournier, 
Minister  of  Inland  Revenue.  New  Brunswick  was  repre- 
sented by  Mr.  A.  J.  Smith,  as  Minister  of  Marine  and  Fisheries, 
and  Mr.  Isaac  Burpee,  as  Minister  of  Customs.  Nova  Scotia 
was  represented  by  Mr.  Thomas  Coffin,  as  Eeceiver-General, 
and  Mr.  Wm.  Ross,  as  Minister  of  Militia  and  Defence.  Mr. 
David  Laird  represented  the  Province  of  Prince  Edward 
Island,  now  a  member  of  Confederation,  as  Minister  of  the 
Interior. 

The  personnel  of  the  new  administration  was,  on  the  whole, 
satisfactoiy  to  tlie  party.  As  between  the  House  of  Commons 
and  the  Senate  the  number  of  Ministers  was  eleven  to  three, 
and  although  Ontario  held  six  seats  in  the  Cabinet,  two  of 
thtm  were  without  portfolio.  Quebec  held  three,  Nova  Scotia 
and  New  Brunswick  two  each,  and  Prince  Edward  Iskmd  one. 
In  speaking  of  his  Government  to  his  constituents,  Mr. 
Mackenzie  said :  "  I  may  with  feelings  of  pride  refer  to  the 
standing  of  the  members  of  the  Cabinet.  No  one  will  deny 
it  has  a  large  amount  of  ability.  No  debater  in  public  life  in 
our  day  can  take  rank  with  Mr.  Blake,  formerly  Premier  oi 
Ontario.  Mr.  Smith  and  Mr.  Laird  were  also  respectively 
Premiers  of  New  Brunswick  and  Prince  Edward  Island,  and 
no  man  stood  higher  in  his  own  province  than  Mr.  Dorion, 
Minister  of  Justice.  In  the  matter  of  religious  faith,  there  arc 
five  Catholics,  three  members  of  the  Church  of  England,  three 
Presbyterians,  two  Methodists,  one  Congregationalist  and  one 
Baptist." 

The  electors  of  Lambton,  were,  as  might  be  expected,  greatly    » 


Scotia 
1  one. 
Mr. 
o  the 
deny 
I'e  in 
u;r  of 
vcly 
iind 
orion, 
c  arc 
three 
d  one 


•re 


atly 


THE  NEW  A DMIXIST RATION. 


355 


delighted  with  the  elevation  of  the  man  whom  for  so  many 
years  they  had  elected  to  Parliament,  and  on  his  return  to 
his  county  for  the  constitutional  approval  which  his  accept- 
ance of  a  seat  in  the  Government  required,  he  was  tendered  a 
banquet  by  his  old  friends  and  admirers.  The  kind  references 
to  his  public  career,  and  to  the  great  energy  he  had  shown  in 
overcoming  obstacles  which  would  1/ave  overwhelmed  a  weaker 
man,  showed  the  esteem  in  which  he  was  held  bv  his  constit- 
uents,  while  the  response  on  his  part,  "  You  made  me  what  I 
am,  I  owe  my  position  to  the  confidence  of  the  people  of 
Lambton,"  indicated  his  appreciation  of  the  support  they  had 
given  him  since  he  entered  public  life. 

The  Hon.  ]\[r.  Brown  was  unable  to  attend  the  banquet,  but 
sent  a  ringing  letter  to  the  secretary.  "  In  the  midst  of 
venality  and  corruption,  Mr.  Mackenzie's  hands  have  never 
been  defiled.  It  is  such  counties  as  Lambton  that  make  such 
representatives  as  Alexander  Mackenzie.  It  will  be  a  bright 
l)age  in  the  histoiy  of  Canada  that  tells  that  the  first  Reform 
Minister  of  this  great  Dominion  was  the  noblest  working-man 
in  the  land,  and  the  representative  of  one  of  the  truest  con- 
stituencies that  ever  upheld  a  great  cause." 

The  Ministers  having  appealed  to  their  constituencies  and 
being  constitutionally  confirmed  in  their  places,  were  now 
prepared  to  grapple  with  the  political  problems  peculiar  to  the 
situation.  Parliament  was  to  be  called  for  the  transaction  of 
business  before  many  months,  and  the  question  very  naturally 
suirixcsted  itself  to  their  minds  :  "  Shall  we  trust  ourselves  to  a 
Parliament  elected  under  our  predecessors  largely  by  Sir  Hugh 
Allan's  gold  and  810,000  drafts  from  Mr.  Abbott  ?  Sir  John 
Macdonald  had  resigned  without  dividing  the  House.  How 
many  members  were  prepared  to  condemn  him  was  unknown. 
Even  if  his  condenmation  had  been  secured  bv  the  registration 


'■ 

1  ^^^^^■^ 

I-  .  .1.        f. 


i  IM; 


3oG 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIF. 


of  their  names  in  the  Votes  and  Proceedinffs,  could  men  whose 
seats  were  purchased  for  thoui  be  depended  upon  ?  Besides, 
was  it  not  the  duty  of  the  new  administration  to  give  the 
people  of  Canalla  an  opportunity  of  expressing  their  disap- 
proval of  Loth  Minis*^ors  and  members  connected  with  or 
implicated  in  the  Pacific  Scandal,  and  how  could  this  be  done 
except  by  dissolution  ?  So  without  any  hesitation  the  Par- 
liament of  1873  was  dissolved  on  the  2nd  of  January,  1874, 
and  a  new  election  ordered.  The  elections  were  held  as  nearly 
as  possible  on  the  same  daj' ;  although  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  not 
obliged  by  statute  to  deprive  himself  of  the  advantage  of 
holding  elections  at  such  times  as  would  best  contribute  to 
his  political  strength. 

The  issues  before  the  country  were  very  clearly  and  ably 
put  in  the  address  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  to  the  electois  of  Lamb- 
ton.  "  Tt  was  due,"  he  said,  "  to  the  electors  of  Canada  to  give 
them  the  opportunity  of  pronouncing  between  ourselves  and 
our  opponents,  and  it  was  essential  to  a  fair  representation  of 
the  people  and  to  the  enactment  of  good  laws  that  the  House 
should  be  purged  of  members  elected  by  the  corrupt  use  of  Sir 
Hugh  Allen's  money.  Canada  is  asked  to  send  to  Ottawa  a 
House  of  Commons  free  to  do  its  duty  to  the  State,  chosen  by 
the  unbiased  voice  of  the  people,  instead  of  men  bound  hand 
and  foot  to  those  to  whom  they  owe  their  seats." 

"  We  shall  strive,"  he  said,  "  to  elevate  the  standard  of 
public  morality  which  our  opponents  have  done  so  much  to 
debase,  and  to  conduct  public  attUirs  upon  principles  of  which 
honest  men  can  approve,  and  hy  practices  which  will  bear  the 
light  of  dav." 

"  We  shall  endeavor  to  remove  those  scctiDual  jealousies  and 
local  prejudices  which  were  aggravated  by  our  predecessors 
and  to  etl'ect  a  genuine  consolidation  of  the  Union." 


ill 


TJIE  NEW  ADMIXISTUATIOX. 


357 


ios  iin<l 

'CCSSUl'S 


He  then  goes  on  to  promise  legislation  for  taking  the  votes 
of  the  people  by  ballot,  an  Insolvency  Act,  a  Siiprenie  Court 
Act,  the  revision  of  the  Militia  System,  etc.  With  regard  to 
the  Pacitic  Railway,  his  address  was  very  sigiiiticant.  Mr. 
Mackenzie  frequently  pointed  out,  in  Opposition,  the  tremen- 
dous burdens  which  the  terms  with  British  Columbia  imposed 
upon  Canadians.  And  now,  as  leader  of  the  Government,  the 
necessity  for  a  readjustment  of  these  terms  pressed  itself  upon 
his  attention.  In  his  address,  he  said  :  "  We  must  endeavor 
to  arrange  with  British  Columbia  for  such  a  relaxation  of  the 
terms  of  Union  as  may  give  time  for  the  completion  of  the 
surveys  of  the  Pacific  Railway,  and  the  acquisition  of  the  infor- 
mation necessary  to  an  intelligent  apprehension  of  the  work 
and  for  its  subsequent  prosecution  with  such  speed  and  under 
such  arrangements  as  the  resources  of  the  country  will  permit 
without  too  largely  increasing  the  taxation  of  the  people." 

As  a  temporary  means  for  entLring  the  North- West  Terri- 
tories, he  proposed  utilizing  the  water  stretches  between  the 
Rocky  Mountains  and  Fort  Garry,  and  from  Fort  Garry  to 
Lake  Superior  ;  and  also  to  connect,  by  way  of  Pembina,  the 
Province  of  Manitoba  with  the  American  .system  of  Railways. 
"  Our  endeavor  will  be  in  all  these  and  other  matters  requiring 
the  attention  of  the  administration  to  promote  such  an  honest, 
vigorous,  just  and  economical  policy  as  may  redound  to  the 
true  welfare  of  the  people  of  Cana/la." 

The  elections  which  followed  were  a  great  victory  for  the 
new  administration.  Many  Conservative  candidates,  who  were 
considered  all  but  invincil>le,  fell  in  the  fray ;  and  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie could  confidently  say  that  the  country  had  approved  of 
his  policy. 

Parliament  was  called  for  the  despatch  of  business  on  March 
2Gth,  and  was  opened  with  great  pomp  and  ceremony  by  Ilia 


m 


IT"'"  '^ 


:    ( 


358 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Excellency,  Lord  Dufferin,  with  Mr.  T.  W.  Anglin  as  Speaker. 
Mr.  Moss,  afterwards  Chief  Justice  "who  was  entrusted  with 
moving  the  adilress  in  reply  to  Ilis  E.Kcellency's  speech,  in 
adverting  to  the  great  ciianges  made  in  the  represent;!  tion  of  the 
House  by  the  recent  elections,  said  :  "A  great  national  crisis  had 
occurred.  Popular  feeling  and  sentiment  wore  keenly  alive  to 
the  importance  of  the  jiresent  and  the  coming  time,  and  he 
believed  the  people  of  Canada  had  made  their  choice  wi.sely 
and  well,  and  he  ventured  to  assure  the  Ministry  that  if  they 
did,  as  they  would  do,  their  very  best  to  administer  the  affairs 
of  the  country  with  a  single  eye  to  the  public  welfare,  and  if 
they  exhibited  that  sagacity  and  statesmanship  which  Canada 
had  the  right  to  expect  from  her  foremost  men,  they  would 
receive  the  earnest  support,  sympathy  and  co-operation  of  the 
House  of  Commons."  Sir  John  Macdonald,  in  his  place  as 
leader  of  the  Opposition,  questioned  the  propriety  of  tho 
dissolution  which  had  just  taken  place,  and  doubted  very  much 
if  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  supported  in  his  course  by  English 
practice.  He  also  expressed  doubt  with  regard  to  the  feasibility 
of  readjusting  the  terms  of  union  with  British  Columbia,  and, 
after  reiterating  his  objections  to  the  ballot  whicii  the  Govern- 
ment proposed,  he  informed  the  House  that  so  far  as  he  was 
concerned  the  address  would  be  allowed  to  pass  without 
amendment. 

The  first  difficulty  which  confronted  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  the 
troubles  in  the  North-West  and  the  appearance  of  Riel  before 
the  Clerk  of  the  House  to  sign  the  roll  as  member  for  Pro- 
vencher.  In  order  to  ascertain  the  real  causes  of  the  griev- 
ances in  the  Nortii-West  and  tiie  extent  to  which  the  previous 
Government  had  committed  themselves  either  to  redress  those 
grievances  or  to  grant  an  amnesty  to  the  offenders,  a  special 
counnittee  was  appuiiited,  composed  of   Mi'.  Donald  A.  Smith, 


THE  NEW  ADMINISTRATION. 


350 


Jolin  Hillynrd  C.imcron,  Mr.  Bowell,  Mr.  J.  J.  C.  Abbott,  Mr. 
Blake,  Mr.  Moss,  Mr.  Geoffrion,  Mr.  Massun  and  Mr.  Jones,  of 
Halifax ;  the  result  of  their  investigation  has  been  fully  con- 
sidered elsewhere.  Riel  was  expelled  from  the  House  and  a 
new  election  ordered  in  Provencher. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  second  difficulty  grew  out  of  the  terms 
made  with  British  Columbia  at  the  time  of  her  admission  to  the 
Union.  Four  years  had  already  elapsed  since  the  terms  were 
settled  and  little  substantial  progress  was  made  towards  their 
fulfilment.  It  was  agreed  that  the  construction  of  the  Pacific 
Railway,  by  which  that  Province  was  to  be  connected  with 
the  East,  should  be  commenced  in  two  vears  from  the  date  of 
Union  and  completed  in  ten.  The  Province  was  disappointed 
and  indignant  at  the  delay,  and  her  representatives  frequently 
called  the  attention  of  Parliament  and  the  Government  to 
their  neglect  of  duty.  On  July  2G,  1873,  an  official  complaint 
by  the  Lieutenant-Governor  of  the  Province,  Mr.  Trutch,  was 
addressed  to  the  Hon.  Mr.  Aikins,  then  Secretary  of  State  for 
Canadii,  enclosing  a  minute  of  the  Executive  Council  of  the 
Province  strongly  prc^testing  against  the  violation  of  the  terms 
of  Union.  Owing,  probably,  to  the  difficulties  in  which  the 
Government  was  involved  by  the  Pacific  scandal,  no  notice 
was  taken  of  this  remonstrance.  The  Lieutenant-Governor 
renewed  his  complaints,  and  on  December  23,  1S73,  he  was 
assured  by  Mr.  Mackenzie's  Government  "  that  their  grievance 
was  receiving  their  most  earnest  consideration,  and  that  a 
scheme  would  be  devised  as  soon  as  possible  v/hicli  it  was 
hoped  would  be  acceptable  to  British  Columl»ia  and  to  the 
whole  Dominion."  These  assurances,  however,  did  not  allay 
the  discontent,  and  early  in  1874,  Mr.  Jas.  D.  Edgar  was  sent 
as  the  agent  of  the  Dominion  Government  to  Victoria  "  for  the 
purpose  of  ascertaining  the  state  of  feeling  in  the  Province 


t 


3U0 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


i 

I 

1 

with  regard  to  certain  clinnges  which  were  deemed  necessary 
in  the  mode  and  in  the  limit  of  time  for  the  construction  of 
the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway,  and  to  bring  about  some  such 
feasible  arrangement  as  might  meet  the  general  approval  of 
the  Local  Government  and  the  people  of  British  Columbia, 
in  place  of  the  original  conditions  respecting  the  connnence- 
ment  and  completion  of  the  railway  contained  in  the  origi- 
nal terms  of  the  Union."  On  June  IGth,  Mr.  Edgar  submitted 
an  elaborate  report  showing  the  intense  feeling  existing  in  the 
Province  on  account  of  the  delay  which  had  already  occurred 
and  the  want  of  energy  apparently  shewn  in  making  the 
necessary  surveys.  So  high  did  public  feeling  run  that  the 
Local  Legislature  of  the  Province  adopted  a  resolution  to  the 
efi'ect  "  that  no  alteration  in  the  terms  of  Union  with  Canada 
shall  be  permitted  by  the  Government  of  this  Province  until 
the  same  has  been  submitted  to  the  people  for  endorsation." 
In  order  to  prepare  the  way  for  a  settlement,  Mr.  Edgar,  acting 
under  instructions  from  the  Government  at  Ottawa,  sugijested 
the  postponement  of  the  construction  of  the  road  vuitil  proper 
surveys  were  made,  but  that  in  the  meantime  a  waggon-road 
should  be  constructed  along  the  route  of  the  railway  in 
the  Province  and  a  telegraph  line  across  the  continent.  In 
this  way  the  interior  of  the  country  would  be  opened  up  and 
communication  established  with  the  Eastern  Provinces.  It 
was  also  proj)osed,  as  soon  as  the  surveys  were  completed,  to 
expend  annually  in  construction  proper  the  sum  of  $1,500,000. 
These  alternative  proposals  were  spurned  by  the  British 
Columbians,  and  Mr.  Edgar,  finding  himself  unable  to  make 
further  progress,  returned  to  Ottawa. 

Having  failed  in  coming  to  an  understandinrj  with  the 
Dominion  Government,  the  British  Columbians  authorized  the 
Attorney-General  of  the  Province,  the  Hon.  Geo.  A.  Walkem, 


ad 
iu 
11 

nil  I 


the 
the 


TIII'J  XEW  ADMIXISTEATIOX. 


3C1 


to  proceed  to  England  to  lay  the  complaints  of  the  Province 
before  the  Colonial  Secretary.  The  Colonial  Office  apparently 
became  alarmed  at  the  ugLjressive  action  of  the  British  Colum- 
bians, and  immediately  cijnunnnicated  with  the  Donn'niou 
Government  with  regard  to  the  matters  in  dispute. 

In  his  anxiety  to  bring  about  a  reconciliation,  Earl  Carnar- 
\on  ai (dressed  a  despatch  to  the  Governor-General  of  Canada, 
in  which   he   intimated   his   regret   that  any  difficulty  should 
exist  between  the  Dominion  and  the  Province,  and  proposed 
"  that  if  both  Governments  should  unite  in  desiriii'^  to  refer  to 
nu'  any  arbitration  of  the  matters  in  con  trovers}',  l)inding  them- 
selves to  accept  such  decision  as  I  may  think  fair  and  just,  I 
would  not  decline  to  undertake  the  service.''     Mr.  Mackenzie's 
Gm-ernment   did    nut    ajiparently  relish  this   interference   of 
Downing    »Street    in  a    matter  of    colonial    concern.     Acconl- 
ingly,    on     the    Stli    of    July,    1>S74,    they     replied     to     Earl 
Carnarvon's  despatch  in    a  long  paper  setting  foi'th  the  wiujle 
case  from  the  Dominion  standpoint.     It  was  pointeil  out  that 
the  terms  with  P)ritish  Cobimbia  were  agreed  to  by  the  House 
by    the    small    mnjority  of  tt.'u,   and   that    this   majority  was 
obtained  on  the  condition  "  that  the  public  aid  to  be  given  to 
secure  the  construction  of  theCaiKulian  Pacitic  Railway  should 
consist  of  such  liberal  grants  of  land  and  such  subsidy  in  money 
or  other  aid,  unt  incveasivg  titc  present  rate  of  taxation,  as  the 
Parliament  of  Canada  shall  hereafter  determine."     It  was  also 
pointed  out  that  the  terms  made  witii   Hritish  Columbia  were 
most    extravagant    and    in   excess    of    the    terms    originally 
demanded   by  the  Province.     A  coach  road  across  the  llocky 
Mountains  was  all  that  was  asked  for  in  the  lirst  instance,  with 
an  expenditure  of   i?l  ,000,000  after  three  years  from  the  date 
of  Union,  on  the  railway  ]n'oper.     It   was   also  pointed   out 
that  the  company  chartered  under  Sir  Hugh  Allan  to  proceed 


m 


ii^ 


J 

-^^ 

• 

M-i 

i 

302 


LIFL  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDEli  MACKENZIE. 


with  the  construction  of  the  road  had  relinquished  their  charter, 
as  tiiey  were  unable  to  obtain  the  necessary  funds  from  Eng- 
lish capitalists.  The  Government  had  not  been  indifferent,  it 
was  alleged,  to  their  obligations,  as  tliey  had  sent  Mr.  Edgar 
to  British  Columbia  in  order  to  ascertain  if  some  relaxation  of 
the  terms  of  Union  could  not  be  arrived  at  which  would  be 
niutuully  acceptable.  They  had  shown  their  desire  to  help 
the  people  of  British  Columbia  by  advancing  a  ([uarter  of  a 
nnllion  for  the  construction  of  the  graving-dock  at  Es(juimalt, 
although  not  required  by  the  terms  of  treaty  to  do  more  than 
pay  five  per  cent,  interest  on  the  cost  of  construction  for  ten 
years  after  the  work  was  completed,  and  also  by  their  offer  to 
build  a  railway  from  Esquimalt  to  Nanaimo,  a  distance  of 
about  sixty-ffve  miles. 

To  the  Canadian  case,  Mr.  Walkem,  who  for  the  time  being 
remained  in  London,  sent  a  very  strong  reply  protesting 
against  the  proposed  modifications  of  the  treaty  with  British 
Columbia,  and  insisting  on  the  interference  of  the  Imperial 
authorities  in  behalf  of  the  Province.  On  the  receipt  of  Mr. 
Walkem's  paper,  Earl  Carnarvon  proceeded  to  give  his  final 
decision,  which  was  afterwards  known  as  tlic  Carnarvon 
terms.  These  were  as  follows:  (1),  that  the  railway  from 
Esquimalt  to  Nanaimo  shall  be  commenced  and  completed  as 
soon  as  possible  ;  (2),  that  the  surveys  on  the  main  land  shall 
be  pushed  with  the  utmost  vigor ;  (3),  that  the  waggon  road 
and  telegniph  lines  eastward  should  be  immediately  con- 
structed ;  (4),  that  two  millions  a  year  should  be  the  minimum 
expenditure  on  railways  within  the  Province  from  the  date  at 
which  the  surveys  are  sufficiently  completed  to  enable  that 
amount  to  be  expended  on  construction  ;  (5),  that  the  railway 
shall  be  completed  on  or  before  the  31st  of  December,  1890,  at 
least  so  far  as  to  connect  with  the  American  railways  at  the 


THE  NEW  ADMIXISTJIATIOX. 


3G3 


west  end  of  Lnko  Superior.  By  a  minute  of  Council  dated 
the  18tli  of  December,  the  Cui-narvon  terms  were  formally 
accepted  by  the  Dominion  Government,  and  on  the  loth 
of  March,  1875,  Mr.  Mackenzie  introduced  a  bill  into  the 
House  of  Commons  to  provide  for  the  construction  of  a  line  of 
railway  from  Esquimalt  to  Nanaimc;  in  British  Columbia. 

The  feeling  in  the  House  of  Conunons  was  none  too  favor- 
able to  this  proposal.  The  Liberal  pai'ty  had  from  the 
very  first  regarded  the  terms  with  British  Columbia  as 
onerous  in  the  extreme,  and  to  be  obliged  now  to  implement 
an  agreement  made  by  their  predecessors,  and  which  they  had 
opposed  at  the  time  with  all  their  power,  was  certainly  asking 
a  great  deal.  They  were,  however,  between  two  fires.  On 
the  one  haul,  was  a  treaty  of  a  most  solemn  character  entered 
into  with  a  sister  Province.  The  honour  of  the  country  was 
pledged  to  carry  out  the  terms  of  this  treaty,  subject  to  this 
one  reservation,  that  in  carrying  out  these  terms,  the  general 
taxation  of  Canada  should  not  be  increased  On  the  other 
hand,  was  the  Colonial  Office,  to  which  British  Columbia 
had  appealed,  as  it  had  a  right,  no  doubt,  against  the 
laches  of  the  Canadian  Goverinnent.  To  repeal  the  terms  of 
the  Union,  or  so  deal  with  British  Columbia  as  to  lead  to  its 
withdrawal  from  the  Union,  would,  it  was  felt,  discredit  the 
Government  in  the  eyes  of  all  the  people  of  Canada.  To  carry 
out  the  terms  literally,  or  nearly  so,  as  British  Cohunbia 
insisted,  would  be  to  increase  enormously  the  burdens  of 
taxation. 

That  the  Liberal  jiarty  was  disinclined  to  go  further 
in  its  concessions  to  British  Columbia  was  evident  from  the 
fact  that  Mr.  Blake  and  several  leailing  Liberals  voted  against 
the  proposal  to  construct  the  Esquimalt  and  Nanaimo  railway 
for  purpo.ses  of  conciliation,  and   when  the  Senate  rejected  the 


I 


mimmm 


3Gi 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALFXAXDER  MACKENZIE. 


bill  cntiroly,  it  was  also  evident  tliat  parliamentary  sanction 
to  any  concession  to  Uritish  Coliunbia  wa.s  not  easily  obtain- 
abie. 

1'lie  irritation  in  Cana<la  was  further  increased  by  the  aeticjn 
ol"  the  Jiiitisli  C(jlunibian  i'(![)rest;ntatives  in  the  House  of 
CtJiiiiiions.  On  till!  i^Slh  of  March,  ISTU.  Mr.  l)e  Cosmos  pio- 
posed  a  vote  of  ensure  upon  the  Oovernment  for  their 
delay  \x\  proce(;din^'  with  the  railway  ;  and  in  tin;  debate  wliich 
followfd,  till!  mover  of  the  resolution,  as  well  as  all  the  other 
memljcrs  for  British  Coiiimltia,  were  most  censorious  in  their 
obsin'vations.  In  iln'  meiintime,  the  ( 'olnuial  <  )liiee  was  Uept 
busy  with  desj)at(;lies  from  tht.-  Ivxecutive  ( 'ouneil  of  l>ritish 
Cojumljia,  and  with  re[)li(s  from  ( 'iuiad;i,.  Hut  no  soluticju  of 
the  dilllculty  seemed  to  be  su^^'ested  to  wliich  both  parties 
Could  aifiv(!.  A  pi'oposition  that  the  (Jolumbiaus  should  be 
paid  1?7")0,0()()  for  the  dehiy  in  be^innim;  the  I'oad  was  uneej-e- 
mmdously  reji'cted  by  the  Ivxeeutive. 

J)ij)lomacy  havin;^'  all  hut  exhausted  itself,  it  occurred  to 
FiOi-d  Duflerin,  (!ov(,'rnor(  leiiei'al,  that  if  he  ]);ud  a  visit  to  the 
i'roviuee  ;ind  hail  an  o])portunity  of  conversini;'  with  its  lead- 
ing citi/eii^,  he  would  be  in  a  better  position,  as  mii  Iui|)erial 
ollicer,  to  advise  the  Colonial  Olliet!  as  to  tlie  true  condition  of 
allairs,  niid  he  minht  |)ossibly  lie  iiMe  to  say  something-,  without 
assumiuL,^  to  acl  in  any  .•imbassadwrial  position,  that  wmild 
mollify  the  discontent  so  unha])[)ily  existiui^.  Mr  .\backeii/ie, 
who  was  oreatly  imi)ressed  with  I  oi-d  Dulierin's  aHability  and 
tact,  concurieil  in  tli  ■  pi'o]»osed  visit.  Ah)reover,  he  was 
anxious  that  His  Kko  ''ency,  duiiue;  his  stay  in  (.\inada,  shoidd 
ae([iiaint  himseli'  ,  Lh  all  jiarts  of  th<!  Dominion.  A  visit, 
therefore,  to  liritish  C'»lm«ii)ia  would  not  only  b(!  a  source;  of 
pleasure  to  'lis  Exeiillency,  Imt  wouM  also  e*ivo  him  an  oppor- 
tunity of  ac(piirino-  information  which  mij^ht  be  cjf  value   to 


THE  NEW  .\/)MIX/STh'AT/OX. 


365 


/. 


t<    t 


/"T-Z  r  r;7     ./><^  <2-*^  ^"^  V 


(F(ic-niiiiile  of  Ijoi'iI  Jjiijfrriji's  Ini iiil-u'i'ili luj.) 


fl 


if 


■MCi 


Line  OF  Tin:  iiox.  alexandmu  mackkxzii:. 


the  vv1i<j1»!  I)i)rni(iion  li()-(;artf;r ;  ;ui'l  if  lif.*  sIkjijM  sij(;(;(m;i1  (;v<;n 
id  c;v<;r  H(j  small  a  iiicusiiic.  in  alhiyid^  tin;  <iiscontont,  lio  lni;^ht 
lli(;l'(il»y  ))(j.Shili]y  {<av(j  tli';  way  I'or  .souk;  h(;itl(;iniiit  oi'  cxisiiii;^' 
(liilicuJLicH. 

Ii'»)<l  I)ijfr<Tin  Hcf  out  for  Urit-isli  d)]iiiii1(i!i,  cm  tlio  .']Isl, 
of  Jiily,  iST'i,  uiii]  ;ir)iv<;(J  at  Victoi'ia  on  tli(;  IHth  ol"  Aii;^u.st. 
Hi;  wus  rec*MV'«;i]  with  the  utmost  oMthusiasrii  hy  tin;  peopji' 
was  present'-'ii  with  numhrjiless  aildi-esses  iui'l  a,irunlii'I  oveiy 
o[jj>ortiiriity  ol'  viiitin;^  h  <tli  th<.'  isian*]  ami  tin;  maliilaml. 
jjot'oi'o  Icavid;^'  the  I'lovirKM.',  however,  he  \'ivy  wisily  (J('t<ir- 
iniM(,''l  in  a'lilress  a  puhlie  meetiri;^  on  the  ;^o'eat  railwayquestion, 
which  he  I'oumI  t<j  he  tin;  all-absorhin;^'  one.  I'erhfips  nev(;r 
'li'l  the  i\i)\\'.y\\>tv  t)S  any  oh^ny  un-h-rtake  a  m<»re  dillieult 
task  Ol' one  i'(;(juirin^  ;j;reater  tact,  ju<];jjment  an<l  pni'h'.nee  tlmii 
the  task  tliat  his  JiOi'dshiji  assi;^aie<l  to  himself  un  that  (jcca'-ion. 
As  tli<!  hca<l  '/I'  l.h<;  f  i'>V(!rnnient,  }i(;  wus  <leharr<'(|  from  uttirin;^ 
a  sin;4l(;  word  de'i'o^/alot y  of  the  conduf;t  of  his  advis(;rs  in 
dealin;.^'  with  th'-  I'acilie  Ituilway.  To  appear  to  he  a  eouns(;l 
in  tlnir  behalf  Wiuld  he  sure  to  excite  the  animosity  of  his 
Jiiidii'iice.  How  was  lie  then  t<)  steer  hi.'twe'cn  Scyila  and 
(Jhuryh  lis '/  1'^  was  for  himself  to  show  how  this  was  to  he 
doiK),  and  the  admirahli;  skill  with  which  he  pi'iTormi(l  liis 
task  showed  his  jffiiius  as  a  diplomatist  and  tactic;iiiii. 

In  jilain  and  simple  lan^oia^n;^  Jk-  i'(;capitulate<l  the  various 
htejis  which  had  h(  i-n  taktn  to  settle  the  <lilliculties  of  British 
Cyolnm Ilia  since  the  I ir.it  complaint  wus  made  to  the  (JoverniiK.'nt 
at  Ottawa.  He  showed  how  surveys  were  be;(un  almost  us  soon 
as  she  entereti  the  Union  and  li()w  these  surveyin;^  parties  liad 
been  stren^jthiinecj,  from  tiin<  to  tim<',  with  a  view  to  tlu!  ulti- 
mate location  of  the  road.  He  slMjwed  tluj  atixi(.'ty  of  tlie 
OovernnKMit  to  firifl  .some  nio<!ili(ration  of  the  treaty  that  would 
\nt  acc(.'j)table,   in  proof  of  wliicli  Mr.  Ivl^ar  had  been  sr-nt  on 


:* 


THE  NEW  admixisthation. 


867 


a  sjx'cial  ini.ssiuii  to  coiii'iT  wiUi  Ui<t  Lof.-ul  CJoveniiix^nt ;  uml 
nioro  r<;c(;ntly  a  bill  )iii.<l  l>i  (!n  iiil,j(Mliif;<(l  iiit'»  ilic  l)oriiii»ion 
I'.ifliaiiKirit  f'or  i\u\  (','Hisl,rii(;tj</n  oi"  a  I'jijiwuy  IVmih  I'lsqiiimalt 
t(j  Naiiaiiiif).  Ill;  .slj(;\v<;il  lliat  tJiis  hill  n;coiv<Ml  tlif  almost 
unaJiiiiioiJs  .su[jport  <>!'  tin;  Lilnial  Jjirty  in  tli<;  House  '/I'  Coiii- 
111'jns,  and  tliat  it/s  <l(;l'<;at  wa.-i  owinLf  to  tiir;  action  of  ili<;  S(jnate 
—a  hoily  wiiicli  Mr.  Ma(;k<'n/,i<;  cniM  not  l)<!  cxpifttcfl  to 
f;ontrol.  Jn  tin;  sti'DnifOst  !an''iia'T('  Ik;  (;xon(;)'a.t<;<l  Mr.  Mac- 
Ivi-nzif;  from  iill  hIaiiK;  I'or  tin-  r(;jcction  of  tlic  JOs(juimalt  l>il!  by 
the  Sfjnat<!.  H<;  frankly  told  timm  tluit  the  fcclin;^  in  Canada 
was  Ijccotiiin;^  dii.ily  more  o)»]joS''d  t,o  thr  di'iiiands  which  tln-y 
wti'c  making  u|)on  the  Duminion  Tr<!asury,  that  it  was  <|(julit- 
I'lil  if  such  a  hill  ii,s  that  reject*;*!  hy  the  S«-i);i.te  could  now  he 
(;ven  jjass'fj  hy  th<;  llous*;  of  ('ommcris,  and  if  a  money  com- 
jiensation  could  Ic;  ii^ri'i;d  upon  foi"  losses  and  delays  in 
procriC'lin^'  with  th*;  i-ailvvay,  it  would  hr,  pifh.-ips,  the  best 
holul.ioii  of  tin;  didieulty  lie  Jissui'fd  tleiii  in  e-loqueiit  t<'i'ms 
that,  Jilthou^h  they  wer*;  but  few  num<'i'icallv,  no  advantii-fc 
would  be  taken  of  their  weakness.  "Woe  betide  the  (Govern- 
ment," he  sai<l,  '  ur  the-  stntesne'ri  who,  becausi;  its  inhnbitants 
ai'f,  few  in  number  and,  politic;dl\-,  of  suimII  account,  should 
disr<;;fard  the  wishes  or  cnrrlcssjy  dismiss  the  repi'esi'utations, 
hoW(jVcr  rou^h,  bca.sto'OU.s,  oi-  dowini;.;ht  of  the  f<;(d»le't  of  ou)- 
distant    colorn'(;s." 

His  lv\e<llen(!y',S  S'pocch  f^rcaily  pneini'd  Hm;  people  of 
lij'iti.sli  Colmnbia.  Nt  vej-  bid'ore  had  they  considcrdl  the 
jjuestifjn  so  calmly  from  ;i  luiliumd  standpoint,  and  novcr 
heforo  was  the  impre'-sioii  h<j  stronjLf  that  ('jiinnlii,  would  do 
justly  ])y  them,  even  if  it  couM  not  fidhl  the  letter  of  the 
liond.  I'Vom  this  date  loj'war<l,  tin;  ;fricvanc<.'s  of  I'l-itish 
(Jolurnbia  w  re  daily  becondn^f  a  .source  of  les»  anxicity 
to  the  (JovcrniiKint.     Mr.  Ma(d<«!n/i(',they  plair)ly  ^aw,was  jjii.sh- 


1  r 

T'-jr-   - 

368 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


ing  the  survo3's  of  the  road  with  vigour.  Contracts  were  being 
let  at  diffcn-ent  points  for  construction  purposes.  Rails  were 
purchasc'l  in  England  to  be  in  readiness  when  required  ;  and 
long  before  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  retired  from  otfice  all  substan- 
tial cause  of  complaint  had  been  removed.  Thus  does  time, 
the  healer  of  national  and  political  sores,  accomplish,  without 
any  display  of  liis  surgical  skill,  what  Parliament  and  diplo- 
mats and  colonial  secretaries  fail  to  accomplish,  even  by  the 
most  sweetened  and  temperate  despatches. 

Early  in  1874,  Mr.  Mackenzie  learned  that  the  United  States 
Government  was  disposed  to  consider  favorably  either  the 
renewal  of  the  old  Reciprocity  Treaty  of  1854  or  such  modi- 
fications thereof  as  would  remove  .some  of  the  commercial 
barriers  in  the  way  of  a  larger  trade  between  Canada  and  the 
United  States.  In  order  to  ascertain  the  extent  of  this  feeling, 
the  Hon.  Geo.  Brown  visited  Washington  at  the  request  of  the 
Government,  and  found  the  authorities  in  such  a  frame  of 
mind  as,  in  his  opinion,  would  warrant  action  on  the  part  of 
Canada  and  Great  Britain.  Mr,  Mackenzie  had  previously 
declared,  on  many  public  occasions,  that  he  had  no  confidence 
in  British  ambassadors  when  dealing  with  Canadian  ati'airs. 
He  was  anxious,  therefore,  in  opening  negotiations  for  a  new 
treaty  with  the  United  States,  to  secure  the  appointment 
of  a  Canadian  representative  whose  ability  and  knowledge 
of  public  ati'airs  would  be  ecjual  to  tlie  great  responsibilities  of 
such  an  undertaking.  After  some  correspondence  with  the 
Colonial  Ollice,  ^Ir.  Brown  and  Sir  Edward  Tiioi-nton  were,  on 
the  17th  of  March,  aj^pointed  joint  plenipotentiaries  for  the 
purpose  named. 

So  far  as  Canada  was  concerned,  the  appointment  of  Mr. 
Brown  was  eminently  satisfactory;.  He  had  given  the  closest 
attention  for  many  years  to  the  development  of  Canadian 


lit 


THE  NEW  ADMIXlSrUATIOX. 


3G9 


trade  and  commerce,  and,  as  a  puMicist,  had  discussed  every 
pliase  of  the  question. 

Ml".  Urown  immediately  proceeded  to  Wasliington  and  f(Hnid 
Air.  Secretary  Fish  and  President  Grant  alive  to  the  import- 
ance of  removing-,  as  far  as  possible,  every  obstacle  likely  to 
iiiipode  the  commerce  of  the  two  countries.  The  Washington 
'i'reaty  of  1871  had  settled  some  international  difficulties,  but 
had  left  the  great  question  of  Reciprocity  as  it  was  in  18G6. 

By  article  twenty-two  of  the  Washington  Treaty,  provision 
V  ;  made,  on  the  appointment  of  connnissioners,  to  appraise 
tlie  advantages  derived  by  the  people  of  the  United  States 
for  the  use  of  the  in-shore  fisheries  of  Canada.  If  some 
interchange  in  counnercial  products  could  be  agreed  upon,  as 
an  efjuivalent  for  the  compensation  in  whicli  Canada  would  bo 
entitled  for  the  use  of  lier  tisheries  b}-  the  citizens  of  the  United 
States,  the  appointment  of  connnissioners  would  be  unnecessaiy 
and  a  settlement  of  the  fishery  question,  in  this  indii'cct  way, 
miii'lit  be  obtained  even  more  satisfactorv  to  both  iiarties  than 
that  proposed  by  the  Washington  Treaty.  As  Mr.  Jirown  sai'i 
in  his  speech  in  the  Senate,  in  1S7.5,  "To  merge  the  matter  in 
a  ireneral  measure  of  mutunl  counnercial  concessions  for  tho 
nuitual  advantage  of  both  parties  and  with  injury  or  injus- 
tice to  neither,  seemed  the  fitting  conclusion  to  bo  arrived  at 
by  the  Governments  of  two  great  nations."  It  was  on  this 
line  that  Mi".  Bi'own  proceeded  with  the  authorities  at  Wash- 
ington ;  and  in  order  to  crystalize  thf  opinions  of  the  rej)ro- 
scntatives  of  Canada  iind  (beat  liritain,  the  following 
propositions  were  sulmiitted :  1.  That  the  duration  of  tho 
treaty  should  be  twenty-one  years.  2.  That  all  the  conditions 
of  the  old  treaty  of  1854  should  be  renewed.  8.  That  tho 
foUowinir  additional  articles  should  be  added  to  the  free  list  of 
the  old  treaty  :  Agricultural  anplemcnts, 'o  be  defined  ;  baric, 
X 


370 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


W 


extracts  of,  for  tanning  purposes  ;  bath  Lricks ;  bricks  for 
building  purposes  ;  earth  ochres,  ground  or  unground  ;  hay  ; 
lime ;  malt ;  manufactures  of  iron  and  steel,  to  be  defined  ; 
manufactures  of  iron  or  steel  and  wood,  jointly,  to  be  defined ; 
manufactures  of  wood,  to  be  defined  ;  mineral  and  other  oils  ; 
plaster,  raw  or  calcined  ;  salt ;  straw  ;  stone,  marble  or  granite, 
partly  or  wholly  cut,  or  wrought.  4.  That  the  fishery  arbitra- 
tion provision  of  the  Washington  Treaty  should  be  abandoned. 
5.  That  the  entire  coasting  trade  of  the  United  States  and 
Canada  should  be  thrown  open  to  the  shipping  of  both 
countries.  6.  That  the  Welland  and  St.  Lawrence  canals 
should  be  enlarged  forthwith,  so  as  to  admit  of  the  passage  of 
vessels  260  feet  long,  45  feet  beam,  and  a  depth  equal  to  that 
of  the  lake  harbors.  7.  That  the  Canadian,  New  York  and 
Michigan  canals  .should  be  thrown  open  to  the  vessels  of  both 
countries  on  terms  of  complete  erjuality,  and  with  full  power 
to  tranship  cargo  at  the  entrance  or  outlet  of  any  of  the  said 
canals.  8.  That  the  free  navisxation  of  Lake  Michigan  should 
be  conceded  forever  to  Great  Britain,  as  the  free  navigation  of 
the  St.  Lawrence  had  been  conceded  to  the  United  States  bv 
the  High  Joint  Commission  in  1871.  9.  That  vessels  of  all 
kind.s  built  in  the  United  States  or  Canada  should  be  entitled 
to  registry  in  either  country  with  all  the  advantages  pertain- 
ing to  home-built  vessels.  10,  That  a  joint  commission  should 
be  formed  and  continued,  chai-ged  with  the  deepening  and 
maintaining  in  cfiicient  condition,  the  naviiiation  oi  the  St. 
Clair  and  Detroit  Rivers  and  Lake  St.  Clair.  11.  That  a 
similar  joint  commission  should  be  formed  and  maintained  for 
securing  the  erection  and  proper  regulation  of  lighthouses  on 
the  great  lakes.  12.  That  a  similar  joint  commission  shouM 
bo  formed  and  maintained  to  promote  the  protection  and  pro- 
pagation of  fish  in  the  inland  waters  common  to  both  countries. 


THE  NEW  ADMINISTRATIOX. 


371 


m 


13,  That  the  citizens  of  either  country  should  be  entitled  to 
letters  patent  for  new  discoveries  in  the  other  country,  and  on 
the  same  terms  as  the  citizens  of  that  country  enjoyed.  14. 
That  joint  action  for  the  prevention  of  smuggling  along  the 
lines  should  be  a  subject  of  consideration  and  co-operation  by 
the  custom  authorities  of  both  countries. 

In  his  memorandum  to  the  Washington  Government,  Mr. 
Brown  shewed  that  the  trade  between  the  United  States  and 
Canada  in  18.t3 — the  year  prior  to  the  old  Reciprocity  Treaty 
— amounted  to  $20,000,000  only  ;  whereas  in  1866 — the  year 
the  treaty  came  to  an  end — the  trade  amounted  to  no  less  than 
Ss4,000,000.  During  the  thirteen  years  of  the  treaty,  the 
memorandum  showed  a  uross  trade  between  Canada  and  thu 
United  States  of  $630,000,000,  and  that  during  the  same 
period  the  British  American  Provinces  purchased  from  the 
United  States  more  goods  than  from  ('hina,  Italy,  Hayti, 
Ru.ssia,  Austria,  Denmark,  Turkey,  Portugal,  South  America, 
Central  America  and  Japan  all  put  together. 

After  negotiations  extending  beyond  the  middle  of  June,  a 
draft  treaty  was  agreed  upon  and  was  transmitted  by  Secre- 
tary Fish  to  the  Senate  of  the  United  States.  It  is  greatly  to 
be  regretted  that  negotiations  which  had  proceeded  so  success- 
fully were  not  terminated  at  an  earlier  date,  as  the  Senate 
was  within  two  days  of  adjournment  before  the  treaty  agreed 
upon  came  up  for  consideration.  This  furnished  those 
opposed  to  tiie  treaty  the  opportunity  they  wanted  of  recom- 
mending a  postponement  of  the  whole  question  for  another 
year,  with  the  result  that  during  the  recess  the  protectionists 
of  the  United  States  were  able  so  to  influence  public  opinion 
as  to  prevent  the  Senate  from  entertaining  the  treaty  at  a 
future  session. 

As  these  negotiations  for  a  new  treaty,  apparently  entered 


iii' 


372 


LIFE  OF  THE  II OX.  ALEXAX/jEH  MACKENZIE. 


I    I 


upon  in  good  faith  l)y  botli  parties  failtvl,  it  liocanic  the  duty  of 
the  Canadian  Government  to  (h.'uiand  the  arbitration  agreed 
upon  by  the  Wasliington  Treaty.  It  was  not,  however,  till 
1S77  thnt  the  Coiuniission  was  organized.  Canada  was  repre- 
.sented  b}'-  Sir  Alexander  Gait,  and  the  United  States  by  th'- 
Hon.  Judge  Kellogg.  ^toiisieur  Maui'ice  ])elf()sse,  Belgian 
Minister  at  Washington,  was  a[)pointed  conjointly  by  the  twu 
Governments  as  umpire. 

After  many  davs'  discussion  and  consideration  of  the  issues 
iuvcdved,  the  arbitrators  awai-diMl  that  Canada  slujuld  be  paid 
§5,500,000.  The  Americans  were  greatly  disappointed  with 
the  result  of  the  arbitration  ;  but  after  a  few  months*  delay 
the  amount  was  duly  paid  as  provided  by  tlie  treaty  for  the 
rif^ht  to  our  in-shore  I'sheries  for  twelve  viiars. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  management  of  this  co.so  throughout  was 
highly  creditable.  The  appointment  of  Mr.  Gait  as  Commis- 
sioner on  behalf  of  Great  JJritain  was  a  recognition  of  the 
riuht  of  Canadians  to  be  consulteil  in  matters  afiectinix  their 
own  interests,  and  the  award  was  a  substantial  proof  that  a 
Canadian  Commissioner  is  (|uito  able  to  protect  Canadian 
interests  against  the  over-reaching  tendencies  of  American 
diplomacy. 

Although  Mr.  ^NFackenzic  contitiued  thi-ougliotit  his  life  a 
stainieh  advocate  of  British  coiuiections,  and  gloried  in  having 
been  born  a  Briton,  he  was  first  and  always  a  Canadian. 
Imperial  Confederation  he  regarded  as  a  chimera,  impossihle 
of  attainment  and  subversive  of  colonial  independence.  He 
jiad  unbounded  confidence  in  the  capacity  of  Canadians  Inr 
self-govei'nment,  and  was  always  inclined  to  resent  the  need- 
less  interference  of  Downing  Street  in  colonial  affairs.  Winn 
Earl  Carnarvon  ])r(ili"ered  his  services  to  settle  the  difficulti.- 
between  Canaila  and  British  Columbia,  he  declined  his  aruitra- 


rnt^ 


uty  of 
igreed 
or,  till 
rcpri'- 
l.y  thf 
ielgian 

3  issues 
bo  pivit.! 
>d  witb. 
s'  .leli^v 
r  for  the 

out  ^va^ 
Counuis- 

of    tll>' 
lirr    tlK'ir 

)f  tliat  a 

anadiau 

Wuurican 

lis  lifo  fl- 
n  having 
^anailian. 
npossihle 
nco.     He 
dians  Inr 
the  HL'od- 
Wh.-ii 
litlicultir-^ 
is  arbitia- 


77/ A'  XEW  ADMINISTliATlON. 


373 


mcnt  as  a  judge,  while  willing  to  accept  his  friendly  inter- 
])nsiti()n  to  allay  ii-ritatiou. 

In  the  Fish-Br(;wn  Treaty  of  1874,  and  in  the  Halifax 
award  of  1(S77,  he  olitained  the  appointment  of  a  Canadian 
Conunissionor  of  eipial  status  with  his  fellow  coniuiissioners. 

When  Sir  John  Maedonald,  on  one  occasion,  attempted  to 
rally  his  followers  by  waving  the  old  Ihvg,  Mr.  Mackenzie 
retorted,  "It  is  an  easy  matter  to  raise  the  flag,  but  let  us 
raise  the  flag  of  common  sense  for  a  little  while,  and  consider 
not  those  high-Hown  sentiments  of  extreme  devotion  ant  I 
loyalty  which  the  honorable  genth-man  dealt  in  so  greatly  to- 
night, but  soberly  and  i-easonably,  what  is  best  f(;r  Canada 
as  Canada,  and  what  is  best  fur  Canada  as  ])art  of  the  Jiritish 
Empire.  I  liave  no  doubt,  whatever,  our  true  i)oliey  is  to 
ohtain  self-action  in  almost  everything  which  relates  to  our 
own  business.  I,  for  one,  give  my  cordial  support  to  any- 
thing that  will  extend  our  liberty  of  action  and  make  us 
entirely  equal  \n  all  respects  to  (jtlier  legislatures  and  the 
Ministers  of  the  mother  country  ilself." 

Again,  in  1882,  when  Mr.  Hlake  made  his  motion  to  demand 
for  Canada  the  right  to  deal  with  the  United  States  or  any 
utlur  C(juntry  in  matters  of  commerce  as  an  independent  coun- 
trv  lie  was  viy^orously  seconded  by  Mr.  Mackenzie.  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie  said,  "that  there  was  no  man  in  Canada  who  would 
sooner  liian  he  reject  part}^  obligations  rather  than  lift  a  hand 
or  a  linger,  hy  motion  or  otherwise,  to  disturb  the  i*e!ations 
that  exist  betvveen  Britain  and  hi-r  colonies.  But  he  had  livetl 
lon^•  enough  in  Canada  to  kn(>w  that  it  iias  been  the  policy 
of  ihe  Tory  party,  almost  from  the  beginning  of  our  history, 
whenever  a  movement  was  made  tending  to  expand  the 
liberties  of  the  people,  to  cry  out  i\n\vv,  was  danger  of  the 
connection  with  Croat  Britain,  and  that  he  was  surjirised  and 


i 


1 


i 


1 


I 


374 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


pained  to  find  loading  statesmen  still  rouorting  to  that  paltry 
policy."  Sir  John  Macdonald's  speech,  he  said,  had  failed  to 
convince  him  that  there  was  "  the  slifjhtest  dan^jer  of  what  he 
pretended  to  fear.  Everything  that  extends  the  liherties  of 
Canadians,  everything  that  accords  to  Canada  and  her  states- 
men greater  breadth  of  view  in  the  management  of  their  own 
affairs,  is  more  likely  to  conduce  to  the  management  of  Imper- 
ial interests  and  greatness  than  any  curbing  policy  that  keeps 
us  down  to  the  grindstone.  It  has  been  the  policy  of  English 
statesmen  who  have  had  the  management  of  our  affairs  from 
the  first  to  consider  colonists  as  inferior  to  themselves.  I 
can  recall  the  words  even  of  such  men  as  Lord  Grey,  Lord 
Russell  and  Lord  Metcalfe,  every  one  of  whom  had  placed  on 
record  their  belief  that  full  self-government  was  not  well 
suited  to  colonists,  and  I  have  read  the  despatches  of  Lord 
Russell  and  Lord  Glenelg  to  the  Governor-General  frequently, 
warning  them  not  to  extend  the  principle  of  responsible 
government  to  Canadians  further  than  so  far  as  might  be  con- 
siytent  with  the  maintenance  of  the  colonial  relation.  I  believe 
we  are  really  as  capable  of  managing  our  own  political  affairs 
as  the  House  of  Commons  in  England." 

In  the  session  of  1874,  Mr.  Cartwright,  Minister  of  Finance, 
delivered  his  first  budget  speech.     He  reviewed  the  financial 


obligations  of  the  country,  the  falling  off  in  the  revenue  and 
the  necessity  for  additional  taxation  if  the  country  was  to 
meet  the  obligations  imposed  upon  it  by  the  previous  administra- 
tion.    It  was  somewhat  unfortunate  that  in  the  first  year  of 


THE  NEW  ADMINISTIiA  TIOX. 


378 


tlie  Government's  existence  the  necessity  arose  for  this  course. 
To  convince  the  people  that  tlie  increase  of  taxation  was  the 
natural  consequence  of  the  extravagance  of  their  predecessors 
and  not  a  covert  attack  upon  the  ratepayers  in  order  to  justify 
expenditures  which  they  proposed  to  incur  themselves,  was  one 
of  the  difficulties  of  the  situation. 

The  general  character  of  the  increases  proposed  by  Mr. 
Cartwright  was  most  reasonable.  No  attempt  was  made  to 
holster  up  any  industry  at  the  expense  of  the  consumei*.  As 
far  as  possible,  the  necessaries  of  life  were  not  burdened  with 
any  additional  rate,  the  luxuries  being  made  to  supply,  mainly, 
the  necessary  revenue. 

Sir  Charles  Tupper,  who  acted  as  tlie  Opposition  critic  of  the 
budget  speech,  inveighed  strongly  against  the  increased  taxa- 
tion proposed  by  the  Minister  of  Finance,  and  charged  Mr. 
Mackenzie  with  infidelity  to  his  free  trade  principles  in  the 
increase  of  the  tariff  from  15  to  17i  per  cent.  The  obligations 
incurred  by  the  previous  Government,  he  claimed,  could  be 
•  liseharged  without  any  difficulty,  as  the  increased  revenue 
from  an  increased  population  and  from  the  development  of 
tlu;  Northwest  Territories  would  more  than  meet  the  extra 
expenditure.  The  ^biritime  Provinces  entered  Confederation 
with  a  very  low  tariff.  What  v.ould  be  their  indignation,  he 
asked,  when  they  became  aware  of  the  policy  of  the  Govern- 
ment. 

Mr.  Mackenzie,  in  reply  to  Mr.  Tupper,  claimed  that  the 
Government  had  no  option  ;  that  the  maidy  and  the  honest 
way  was  to  state  to  Parliament  and  to  the  country  their  true 
financial  condition,  and  to  provi<le  the  only  remedy  withia 
their  power,  namely,  a  reasonable  increase  of  the  tariff. 
Although  a  free  trader  in  principle,  as  head  of  the  Government 
he  r/.ust  find  sufficient  money  with   which  to  carry   on   the 


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376 


LIFE  OF  THE  110 X.  ALEXANDEB  MACEEXZIE. 


M\ 


business  of  the  country  :  and  while  it  was  impossible  to  appl^' 
the  principles  of  free  trade,  he  did  the  next  best  thing — hu 
increased  the  tariff  for  revenue  purposes  only. 

Owino;  to  the  faihire  of  Sir  John  Maclonald's  scheme  for 
the  construction  of  the  Canadian  Pacific  railway,  it  was  neces- 
sarv  in  order  to  keep  faith  with  British  Columbia,  that  some 
other  means  sliould  be  adopted  for  tlie  construction  of  this 
road.  Mr.  Mackenzie  lost  no  time  in  submitting  to  tlie  House 
a  bill  embodying  the  policy  of  the  Government.  He  propo.sed, 
first,  to  divide  the  road  into  four  sections  two  east  of  Winni- 
peg, and  two  west,  with  branches  from  Winnipeg  to  Pembina, 
and  from  Lake  Nipissing  to  Georgian  Bay,  A  line  of  telegraph 
was  to  be  constructed  along  the  whole  extent  of  the  railway' 
in  advance  of  the  construction  of  the  road,  and  as  soon  as  the 
route  had  been  determined.  Each  sectiu..  was  to  be  w^orked 
by  the  contractors  who  constructed  the  section,  on  terms  to 
be  settled  by  the  Governor  in  Council.  The  bill  provided  for 
the  construction  of  the  road  by  private  enterprise  or  as  a 
Government  work.  In  this  respect  it  was  different  from  Sir 
John  Macdonald's  bill,  which  provided  for  the  construction  of 
the  road  by  private  enterprise  only.  Instead  of  giving  a  sub.sidy 
of  money  and  lands  en  blue  to  the  company,  Mr.  Mackenzie 
proposed  a  subsidy  of  §10,000  per  mile  ami  a  land  grant  of 
20,000  acres  per  mile,  with  a  guaiantee  of  four  per  cent,  for  a 
given  number  of  years  on  a  sum  to  bo  stated  in  the  contract 
for  each  mile  tendered  for,  all  contracts  for  any  portion  of  the 
main  line  to  be  submitted  to  Parliament  for  approval.  The 
Government  reserved  to  itself  the  right  to  assume  possessitjn 
of  the  whole  or  any  section  of  the  railway  on  paynient  of  ten 
per  cent,  in  adilition  to  the  original  cost,  less  the  value  of  the 
laud  and  money  subsidies  received.  No  time  was  fixed  by  the 
bill  absolutely,  for  the  complet  on  of  the  road.     The   branch 


THE  NEW  ADMINISTliATION. 


37: 


■PWW" 


i! 


line  at  Fort  Garry  was  to  lie  pushed  forward  as  fast  as  would 
be  necessary  to  connect  with  the  American  system  of  railways. 

Although  this  bill  was  not  satisfactory  to  the  British 
Columbians,  particularly  as  it  did  not  guarantee  ti.c  com- 
pletion of  th(;  road  according  to  the  exact  terms  of  union  with 
the  Province,  it  was,  nevertheless,  an  honest  attempt  to  fulfil 
the  obligations  of  the  Government.  Indeed,  it  contemplated 
more  than  Parliament  had  absolutely  promised  in  the  first 
instance,  as  the  terms  of  union  with  British  Columbia,  so  far 
as  the  Pacific  Railway  was  concerned,  required  that  the  road 
should  be  constructed  out  of  the  revenues  of  the  Dominion 
without  increasing  the  rate  of  taxation. 

To  those  who  had  committed  themselves  to  the  construction 
of  a  trans-continental  railway  innne<]iately  on  Canadian 
territory,  the  bill  was  unsatisfactory,  inasmuch  as  it  designe<l 
to  utilize  the  American  system  of  railways  for  access  to  Mani- 
toba l)y  way  of  Pembina,  leaving  the  eastern  section  along  tlie 
noi'th  shore  of  Lake  Superior  to  be  constructed  at  a  hiter 
period.  But  while  the  construction  of  the  eastern  section 
remained  in  abeyance,  it  was  proposed  to  utilize  the  wrter 
stretches  to  the  north  of  Lake  Superior  as  far  as  possil'^e,  for 
the  purpose  of  furnishing  immediate  access  through  Canadian 
territory  to  the  North-West. 

On  this  latter  proposition  much  ridicule  was  cast  by  the 
Consf. r/ativc  party.  No  doubt  there  wen;  tiisadvantages  for 
connnercial  purposes  in  tiic  conveyance  of  freight  and  pas- 
sengers by  a  combination  of  rail  and  water,  and  were  it  nut 
for  the  financial  obligations  it  involved,  it  is  (juite  certain  Mr. 
Mackenzie  himself  would  never  have  entertained  such  a 
project.  The  country  was  sullering  from  great  commercial 
dopre.ssion.  The  revenue  of  the  Dominion  was  accordingly 
impaired.     A    considerable    addition    had    been    made   to  the 


■:  '!' 


mmmm^w 


378 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


tai'iff,  and  Mr.  ^Mackenzie  felt  that  any  reasonable  means  1>y 
which  he  could  avoid  adding  to  the  burdens  of  the  country 
demanded  consideration.  If  he  was  obliged  to  adopt  any 
measure  of  a  teniporarj'  character  in  order  to  tido  over  present 
financial  difficulties,  it  was  not  his  fault,  but  the  fault  of  his  pre- 
decessors by  whom  the  country  was  placed  under  such  heavy 
obligations  to  British  Columbia.  Whatever  objection  may  be 
taken  to  the  measure  proposed  by  Mr.  Mackenzie,  no  excep- 
tion can  be  taken  to  the  sincerity  of  his  efforts  to  carry  jutthe 
intention  of  Parliament  in  agreeing  to  the  construction  of  the 
raiUvay. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  speech  on  the  introduction  of  this  bill  was 
one  of  the  most  remarkable  of  the  session,  and  in  some  respects 
one  of  the  ablest  speeches  ever  delivered  in  a  Canadian  Parlia- 
ment. It  occupied  between  three  and  four  hours  in  delivery 
and  shewed  the  most  intimate  knowledge  of  the  surveys  of  the 
road  and  of  the  en<rineering  difficulties  to  be  ovtsrcomo.  When 
pointing  out  the  different  routes  that  had  been  considered  and 
examined  in  the  eastern  section,  one  would  have  thought  he 
had  travelled  every  mile  of  the  road  and  had  examined, 
personally,  every  gulch  and  elevation  which  stood  in  the  way 
of  the  contractor.  When  discussing  the  western  section  with 
its  different  gradients  and  alignments,  one  would  have  thought 
he  was  an  engineer  who  had  stu  lied  with  a  Brunei  or  a 
Stephenson.  When  he  launched  out  into  comparisons  with 
other  railways  of  a  similar  kind  in  the  United  States  and  South 
America,  one  would  have  thought  he  was  the  author  of  a  com- 
pendium of  the  railway  systems  of  the  world.  When  he  came 
to  discuss  tho  financial  obligation  which  this  gigantic  scheme 
involved,  the  difficulty  of  obtaining  the  requisite  amount  of 
money  and  the  burdens  it  would  impose  upon  the  taxpayer, 
one  would  have  thou<rht  he  was  the  Chancellor  of  the  Excheciucr 


THE  NEW  ADMINISTRATION. 


379 


addressing  the  House  in  Committee  of  Ways  and  Means.  The 
fact  that  in  addition  to  his  many  other  duties  as  Premier,  and 
as  Minister  of  Public  Works,  he  was  able  to  master  the  details 
of  such  a  great  enterprise,  shews  his  wonderful  industry  and 
grasp  of  mind. 

It  is  not  generally  known  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  took  great 
interest  in  military  matters,  and  had  served  liis  country  as  an 
officer  in  the  volunteers,  ranking  as  Major  of  the  27th  Batta- 
lion of  Lambton.  During  the  Fenian  invasion  of  18CG  he  was 
for  several  months  under  canvas  at  the  head  of  his  company, 
and  won  the  admiration  of  every  man  in  the  service  by  the 
faithful  manner  in  which  he  discharged  his  duties. 

lie  always  took  part  in  the  discussions  of  the  House 
on  military  matters,  and  frc(juently  expressed  doubts  with 
regard  to  the  results  obtained  from  the  method.s  usually 
adopted  for  the  training  of  the  volunteers.  To  have  a  stand- 
ing army  on  paper,  no  matter  how  strong,  would  be,  in  his 
opinion,  of  little  use  unless  such  an  army  were  well  officered  ; 
and  the  limited  training  provided  under  the  Militia  Act, 
valuable  though  it  might  be,  was  not  sufficient,  he  feared,  for 
active  service  in  time  of  trouble. 

To  overcome  the  difficulties  referred  to,  the  Minister  of 
Militia  introduced  a  Idll  for  the  establishment  of  a  Military 
Colleire  somewhat  on  the  basis  of  West  Point  in  the  United 
States.  The  course  of  study  would  involve  instruction  in  all 
matters  relating  to  cavalry,  infantry,  artillery  and  engineer- 
ing. The  college  was  to  be  placed  under  M'ell -trained  military 
officers  of  experience,  and  cadets  in  training  were  to  be  sub- 
jected to  examinations  at  the  close  of  tlie  college  course. 

By  the  establishment  of  this  college,  Mr.  Mackenzie  expected 
to  supply  officers  thoroughly  competent  to  train  the  volunteer 
forces  of  the  country,  as  well  as  in  the  event  of  an  emergency 


' 


IrTl 


I! 


I  ! 


;jso 


LIFE  OF  THE  II OX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


to  have  in  command  men  well  vcised  in  military  tactics,  who 
could  render  valuable  aid  to  the  ofi  cers  in  connnand. 

As  the  result  of  this  legislatio  i,  a  military  college  was 
estaLlished  at  Kingston,  and  though  it  may  not  have  met  to 
the  full  the  expectations  of  its  founder,  its  record  has  been 
creditable  to  the  stati",  and  the  cours  j  of  instruction  equal  to 
the  best  military  schools  of  the  contii  ent. 

For  many  years  the  Liberal  party  complained  of  the  election 
law  as  being  framed  in  the  interest  )f  the  Government,  and 
designed  as  if  from  malice  of  forethought  to  prevent  a  irte 
expression  of  public  opinion.  As  was  seen  in  the  elections  of 
l>b7-,  by  issuing  the  writs  in  constitu>;ncies  favorable  to  the 
Govurnment  undue  advantage  was  takt  n  of  the  Liberal  party. 
For  this  state  of  atlairs,  Mr.  Mackenzie  in  Ins  address  to  the 
electors  of  Lambton  had  promised  a  remedy  when  he  assumed 
office  ;  and  the  Election  Bill  introduced  by  the  Minister  of 
Justice,  Mr.  Dorion,  was  the  fulfilment  of  that  promise ;  for  by 
clause  two,  it  was  provided  that  at  every  general  election,  the 
Governor-General  should  fix  one  and  the  same  day  for  the 
nominations  of  candidates  in  all  the  electoral  districts  of  the 
Dominion,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  cases  which  the  writs 
might  possibly  not  reach  in  the  usual  time,  between  the  diss.)- 
lution  of  the  House  and  polling  day,  on  account  of  the  distance. 
The  writs  for  an  election  were  to  be  addressed  to  the  sheritl'  or 
to  the  registrar  of  the  electoral  district,  and  in  the  event  of 
there  being  no  ssheritt"  or  I'egistrar,  to  such  p.!rsou  as  the  Gov- 
ernment might  appoint. 

The  ba.is  of  the  franchise  was  to  be  tliat  used  in  the 
Provincial  elections.  Candidates  were  to  be  nominated  by  a 
written  nomination  paper,  signed  by  twenty-five  electors,  and 
a  deposit  of  fifty  dollars  was  to  be  made  with  the  returning 
officer   as  a  guarantee  of   the  bona  fides  of   the  nomination- 


THE  NEW  ADMINISTRATIOX. 


38 1 


The  property  qualification  required  of  candidates  was  abolished 
and  for  the  open  system  of  voting  was  substituted  the  more 
modern  system  of  vote  by  ballot.  Very  stringent  provisions 
were  adopted  with  respect  to  con-npt  ])raetices  ;  and  for  the 
lirst  time  in  the  history  of  Canada,  it  may  be  said  that  an 
honest  effort  was  made  to  obtain  a  pui-e  election.  Since  Mr. 
Mackenzie  retired  from  ofTice,  several  attempts  have  been  made 
to  neutralize  its  beneficial  tendencies  ;  notably,  by  amending 
the  clause  which  provided  that  the  sheritt'  or  the  registrar 
should  be  ex  ojffir.io  returning  ofticer.  The  appointment  of  a 
returning  of^cor  who  is  the  creature  of  the  administration  of 
the  day,  and  who  considers  that  he  can  best  disclwirge  his 
duties  by  promoting  the  election  of  the  Government  candi- 
date, or  if  the  Govej-nmcnt  candidate  fails  in  getting  the 
majority  of  the  votes,  by  making  such  a  return  to  the  Clerk 
of  the  Crown  in  Chancery  as  will  give  him  a  right,  for  the 
time  being,  to  a  seat  in  Parliament,  has  of  late  years  been  a 
matter  of  frequent  occurrence.  No  such  abuse  of  party  power 
was  possible  under  IMr.  Dorion's  Election  Uill,  and  that  such 
an  abuse  has  been  tolerated  by  the  majority  in  Parliament  on 
several  occasions,  and  encouraged,  if  not  advised,  by  the 
leaders  of  the  party,  is  very  much  to  be  deplored. 

Tiic  application  of  the  ballot  to  Dominion  elections  was 
strongly  resisted  by  Sir  John  Macdonald,  the  leader  of  tho 
Opposition,  and  by  many  of  his  followers  as  well.  Sir  John 
Macdonald  wanted  the  country  to  adhere  to  the  good  old 
system  of  open  voting,  as  being  the  manlier  form  of  declarinir 
one's  political  preference.  The  ballot  was  American,  was 
un-British,  would  lead  to  fraud  and  deception,  and  should  not 
be  entertained.  Following  the  same  line,  one  of  his  supporters 
raively  expressed  his  objection  to  the  ballot  in  these  terms: 
"  Elections  cannot  bo  carried  without  money.     Under  an  opi?n 


382 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


system  of  voting,  you  can  readily  ascertain  whether  the  voter 
has  deceived  you.  Under  vote  by  ballot,  an  elector  may  take 
your  money  and  vote  as  he  likes,  without  detection." 

The  adoption  of  the  franchise,  established  by  the  different 
Provinces  for  their  respective  Legislatures,  was  another  feature 
of  the  liberal  character  of  the  Election  Bill,  and  is  also  an 
evidence  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  confidence  in  the  federal  principle. 
To  say  that  the  Local  Legislatures  cannot  be  trusted  in  prepar- 
ing voters'  lists  which  will  fairly  represent  public  opinion,  is  to 
x*eflect  upon  their  loyalty  to  Confederation.  To  deny  them 
this  privilege,  no  doubt  intended  by  the  Union  Act,  is  to  dis- 
turb very  materially  the  area  of  representation  in  the  different 
Provinces.  In  addition  to  this  there  is  the  question  of  expense, 
the  impartial  character  of  the  voters'  lists,  the  simplicity  of 
procedure,  all  of  which  are  important  in  dealing  with  a 
question,  somewhat  complex,  but  of  supreme  importance  to  the 
country,  To  place  the  franchise  of  a  constituency  in  the 
hands  of  a  revising  barrister,  who  is  the  nominee  of  the  party 
in  power,  is  like  placing  the  deeds  of  your  estate  in  the  hands 
of  a  rival  claimant.  A  Government  which  can  thus  tamper 
witli  the  free  expression  of  the  people  stands  self-condenmed. 
Either  its  course  hus  been  unworthy  of  confidence  and,  there- 
fore, the  jury  must  be  packed,  or  the  electors  as  a  whole  can- 
not be  trusted,  and  as  a  consequence  doubtful  ones  must  be 
deprived  of  their  power  of  expressing  themselves.  Such 
doctrines,  either  openly  avowed  or  covertly  carried  out  in  the 
name  of  law,  would  destroy  more  governments  in  Britain 
than  ever  perished  or  are  likely  to  perish  by  the  Nemesis  of 
Irish  Home  Rule. 


^ 


CHAPTER  XXVI. 

THE   SESSION    OF   1875. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  Plan  for  Preserving  the  Debates  of  the  House— The  Supreme 
Court  Act — The  Constitution  of  the  Senate — Prohibition  Discussed — The 
Canada  Temperance  Act — Mr.  Mackenzie  visits  the  Eastern  Provinces — 
'Jr.  Brown  declines  the  Lieutenant-Govoruorship  of  Ontario — The  Office 
Accepted  by  Mr.  D.  A.  Macdonald. 

i^  OR  the  first  time  in  the  history  of  the  Canadian 
y  Parliament,  arrangements  were  made  for  offi- 
^ifTz:  cially  reporting  the  debates  of  the  House.  The 
"^  questions  occupying  the  attention  of  tlie  people's 
representatives  were  considered  to  be  of  such  import- 
ance as  to  ju.stify  the  preservat'on  of  the  debates  for 
future  reference.  An  attempt  had  been  made  during  the  last 
three  years  of  the  pr'  "*nus  Parliament  to  secure  the  same 
object  by  private  enter}:  'se,  but  the  speeches  were  reported 
with  such  partiality,  r  u^jr  for  the  speaker  or  the  party  to 
which  he  belonged,  as  to  make  the  volume  valueless  for  future 
reference.  To  refer  to  files  of  a  newspaper  for  the  discus- 
sion of  any  question  to  which  the  House  had  given  its  con- 
sideration was  becoming  more  and  more  difficult.  A  concise 
report  by  well-trained  stenographers  was  therefore  almost  a 
necessity,  if  the  debates  were  to  be  available  for  public  pur- 
poses. Parliament  is  evidently  satisfied  with  the  policy  which 
Mr.  Mackenzie  introduced  in  1875,  and  it  is  doubtful  if  any 

383 


ill 


I".  I 


:i8A 


LIFE  OF  TIfE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


* 


deliberative  Imdv  in  tlie  world  is  furnislicd  with  a  more  satis- 
factory  report  of  its  debates  than  is  the  I'arlianient  of  (Januda. 

For  many  years,  Sir  John  Macdonald  liad  been  promising 
the  country  an  act  for  the  estaljlishnient  of  a  general  Court  of 
Appeal  for  Canad.i,  as  provided  by  section  101  of  the  British 
North  America  Act.  ^J'hat  such  an  act  was  necessary  on 
account  of  the  union  of  Provinces  wxxXx  different  svstems  of 
legal  procedure  was  self-e\'ident.  The  Supreme  Court  of  the 
United  States  was  established  in  order  to  preserve,  particu- 
larly in  constitutional  questions,  harmony  of  action  iu  the 
different  States  of  the  Union. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  saw  that  confusion  would  soon  arise  in  the 
interpretation  of  the  laws  of  the  different  Provinces,  unless 
the  intentions  of  the  Union  Act  were  carried  out.  He  tliere- 
fore  lost  no  time  in  bringing  in  a  bill  for  the  establishment 
of  a  court  to  Avhicii  appeals  could  be  niade  from  the  judg- 
ments of  the  hiiiht'st  court  of  final  resort  in  anv  Province  v)f 
Canjida  in  all  civil  matters.  In  criminal  matters,  it  was  pro- 
posed to  allow  appeals  within  certain  limitations  in  the  ca«ie 
of  any  person  convicted  of  treason,  felony  or  misdemeanour, 
and  also  in  cases  of  extradition.  Authority  was  given  the 
Governor  in  Council  to  refer  to  the  Supreme  Court,  for 
hejiring  or  consideration,  any  matter  whatsoever  he  niay 
think  tit,  and,  under  certain  conditions,  jurisdiction  was  given 
to  the  Supreme  Court  iu  the  case:  (1),  Of  controversies 
between  the  Dominion  of  Canada  and  any  Province.  (2), 
Of  controversies  between  Provinces.  (8),  When  the  validity 
of  an  act  of  the  Parliamtjut  of  Canada  was  qut-stioned  in  the 
proceedings.  (4),  WIhu  the  \alidity  of  an  act  of  one  of  the 
Provinces  was  questi(jned  in  the  proceedings. 

The  court  was  to  be  compo.sod  of  a  chief  justice  and  five 
puisne  judges.     The  sittings  (jf  the  court  were  to  be  held  al 


THE  SESSION  OF  1875. 


385 


OttiiAva,  and  tlic  ju<l;;i'.s  wore  empowered  to  make  siicli  rules 
and  orders  for  re<^iilutIno;  the  procedure  of  the  Supreme  Court 
as  tliey  mi^lit  deem  expedient. 

Many  of  the  French  members  of  the  House  were  stronfjly 
opposed  to  the  Supreme  Court  Bill,  claiming  that  it  interfered 
with  the  dignity  of  the  Provincial  ct)urts,  and  would  expose 
litigants  from  Quebec  to  the  danger  of  being  misund<u*stood  in  a 
court  presided  over  by  a  majority  of  English-speaking  judges. 

There  seemed  to  be  considerable  ditl'erence  of  u})ini()n  in  the 
House  with  regard  to  the  ultimate  sovereignty  of  the  Supreme 
Court.  By  some  members  it  was  held  that  its  decisions  should 
be  tinal  and  conclusive,  and  without  appeal  to  Her  Majestj^'s 
Privy  Council  in  any  case.  By  others  it  was  heltl  that  Par- 
liament had  no  power  to  prohibit  an  appeal  to  Her  Majest3''s 
Privy  Council,  and  even  if  there  was  the  power,  it  should 
not  be  exercised.  The  views  of  the  Government,  and  of  a 
niajoiity  of  the  House,  were,  after  a  pretty  vigoi'ous  debate, 
expr<!S.sed  in  the  following  section  which  was  inserted  in  the 
bill  on  its  third  reading:  "The  judgment  of  the  Supreme 
Court  shall  in  all  ciuses  be  final  and  conclusive,  and  no  error 
or  appeal  shall  be  brought  from  any  judgment  or  order  o^ 
the  Supreme  Court,  to  any  Court  of  Appeal  established  l)y 
the  Parliament  of  Great  Britain  and  Ii'eland,  to  which  appeals 
or  petitions  to  Her  Majesty  in  Council  may  be  ord(M'e(l  to  be 
heard,  saving  any  right  which  Her  Majesty  may  be  graciously 
pleased  to  exercise  as  a  royal  prerogative."' 

Various  amendments  were  made  to  the  Act  tlic  I'ollowinij 
session,  the  most  worthy  of  notr,  perhaps,  being  the  abolition 
ot"  a  right  of  appeal  to  tlui  Supreme  Court  in  extradition 
cases.  The  amendnn'nts  niad(>  to  the  Supreme  Court  .Act  in 
.s>d)sequent  years  do  not  come  within  the  scope  of  our  nar- 
rative. 

Y 


386 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Mr.  Mackenzie's  action  in  constituting  a  Court  of  Appeal 
for  Canada,  and  his  impartiality  in  establishing  it  in  the 
first  instance,  are  in  striking  contrast  to  the  vacillating  policy 
of  his  predecessors.  The  influence  of  a  powerful  court  in 
steadying  legislation  and  in  protecting  the  Constitution 
against  the  inroads  of  partisan  majorities  can  hardly  be  over- 
estimated. The  Supreme  Court  of  thi  United  States  has 
more  than  once  overthrown  the  plans  of  unscrupulous  leaders 
in  Congress  by  its  reasonable  and  well-sustained  judgments. 
To  know  that  there  is  an  appeal  from  Philip  drunk  to  Philip 
sober,  from  the  knave  who  would  make  merchandise  of  the 
public  interests  for  his  own  selfish  purposes,  to  the  calm  judg- 
ment of  disinterested  men,  is  a  substantial  check  upon  those 
who  are  indifferent  to  the  constitutional  rights  of  their  op- 
ponents. 

The  cry  raised  by  Sir  John  Macdonald  that  the  restraint 
imposed  by  the  Bill  upon  indiscriminate  appeals  to  the  Privy 
Council,  on  the  ground  that  it  would  lead  to  the  severance  of 
Canada  from  the  British  Empire,  was  a  sample  of  "jingoism" 
in  a  small  way  which  has  been  the  bane  of  Canadian  politics, 
and  which,  happily  for  the  country,  had  no  influence  with 
Parliament.  To  admit  the  doctrine  that  in  the  management 
of  purely  domestic  affairs  Canada  is  not  free  to  exercise  the 
powers  of  self-government  conferred  on  her  by  the  Imperial 
Parliament  would  be  inimical  to  her  independence  and  self- 
respect.  Nothing  is  more  subversive  of  either  personal  or 
national  strength  than  the  suppression  of  a  spirit  of  self- 
reliance.  To  be  in  perpetual  fear  of  treading  on  Imperial 
corns,  or  of  being  castigated  by  a  Downing-street  martinet, 
involves  a  degree  of  self-debasement  incompatible  with  the 
most  elementary  principles  of  constitutional  liberty. 

It  is  easy,  however,  to  recall  periods  in  Canadian  history 


ip 


M 


THI-:  SESSION  OF  1875. 


887 


I:  I'll! 


where  the  terrorism  of  the  Colonial  OflRce  so  overawed  the 
people  as  to  suppress  the  assertion  of  even  the  feeblest  aspira- 
tion of  a  national  spirit.  When,  forty  years  ago,  it  was  proposed 
to  establish  municipal  institutions  under  the  old  Parliament  of 
Canada,  the  fetich  of  Imperialism  was  invoked,  and  the  loyalty 
of  all  who  advocated  their  establishment  was  impugned. 
"  Place  here  and  there  (it  was  said)  throughout  the  country, 
independent  local  boards  for  the  construction  of  roads  and 
bridges  and  the  management  of  local  affairs,  and  what  are  you 
doing  ?  You  are  creating  so  many  sucking  republics  to  be  a 
menace  to  Imperial  connection."  Indeed,  so  jealous  was  Par- 
liament of  its  prerogative  or  so  fearful  that  the  power  thus 
conferred  would  be  abused,  that  the  wardens  of  counties 
were  originally  appointed  by  the  Crown,  and  all  by-laws  of 
local  municipalities,  with  one  or  two  trifling  exceptions,  were 
invalid  until  approved  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor  in  Council. 
And  so  the  proposal  made  during  the  present  generation  to 
adopt  a  decimal  currency,  or  the  system,  of  voting  by  ballot, 
or  a  union  of  the  Provinces  on  tlie  Federal  principle,  caused  a 
paroxyism  of  affected  loyalty  which,  if  taken  in  all  seriousness, 
would  have  checked  irreparably  the  development  of  self- 
government.  To  accept,  in  the  administration  of  Canadian 
affairs,  any  well-known  principle  or  practice  of  the  neighbor- 
ing states,  was  to  endanger  Imperial  connection ;  and  to 
establish  a  Supreme  Court  in  Canada,  from  which,  under 
certain  circumstances,  there  would  be  no  appeal  was,  using  the 
words  of  Sir  John  Macdonald,  "  to  sever  the  last  link  that 
bound  Canada  to  the  British  Empire."  Vain  fear !  The  ties 
which  bind  Canada  to  the  Empire  happily  do  not  depend  upon 
Courts  of  Appeal,  or  upon  the  courtesies  of  a  Colonial  OfHce, 
or  the  presence  of  a  Governor-General,  or  the  pomp  of  a  vice- 
regal court.     Canada  finds  in  that  connection  the  prestige  of 


f  I 


i 


i 


3S8 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


a  constitution  that  has  "  broa<lened  down  from  precedent  to 
precedent."  She  finds  a  history  of  heroic  deeds,  in  which  she 
has  herself  borne  an  humble  part,  and  which  it  is  her  pride 
and  glory,  to  some  extent,  to  imitate.  She  finds  in  the 
literature  of  the  Empire  the  best  exposition  of  her  aspira- 
tions, and  she  believes  for  the  present,  at  least,  that  she  can 
best  work  out  her  own  destiny  in  alliance  with  an  Empire 
whose  honor  and  dignity  her  loyal  subjects  are  prepared  now, 
rts  in  the  brave  days  of  yore,  to  defend  by  land  and  by  sea. 

The  attention  of  the  House  \vas  again  called  by  Mr.  Mills  to 
the  constitution  of  the  Senate  in  the  following  resolution  ; 
"  That  the  present  mode  of  constituting  the  Senate  is  inconsis- 
tent ^\  :th  the  Federal  principle  in  our  system  of  government, 
makes  the  Senate  alike  independent  of  the  people  and  the 
Crown,  and  is  in  other  material  respects  defective ;  and  that 
our  constitution  ought  to  be  so  amended  as  to  confer  upon 
each  Province  the  power  of  selecting  its  own  Senators,  and  to 
define  the  mode  of  their  selection." 

Mr.  Mills  introduced  a  similar  resolution  in  the  previous 
session ;  but,  owing  to  the  pressure  of  business,  he  was  unable 
to  proceed  with  it  beyond  the  first  stage.  In  an  able  speech, 
he  di&cussed  the  functions  of  a  Senate  in  a  Federal  system, 
pointing  out,  first,  that  under  our  constitution  its  primary 
purpose  Vv'as  to  protect  th';  Provinces  against  the  encroachment 
of  the  House  of  Commons.  It  would  logically  follow,  then, 
that  it  should  derive  its  existence  from  the  Provinces  and  not 
from  the  Crown.  This  was  the  main  purpose  of  the  Senate  of 
tlu!  United  States,  and  although  not  constituted  with  any  re- 
ference to  the  ]x)pulation  of  the  different  states,  it  has  been 
regarded  by  the  people,  even  of  tlit;  larger  states,  as  afibrding 
them  ample  protection ;  second,  the  centralisation  of  power  in 


THE  SESSION  OF  1875. 


889 


the  Crown  is  contrary  to  the  modern  trend  of  constitutional 
government  growth. 

Canada  happily  lives  almost  beyond  the  shadow  of  pre- 
rogative in  matters  of  legiskition.  except  in  this  particular 
instance.  To  invest  a  small  body  of  men,  appointed  usually 
because  of  their  political  service  to  their  party,  with  legislative 
power,  is  to  give  a  partisan  complexion  to  an  estate  of  the 
realm  called  upon  to  exercise  judicial  functions  mainly.  Let 
a  Government  remain  in  otBce  long  enough,  and  in  the  natural 
order  of  events,  tlic  Senate,  to  which  ii  nJnority  may  be  called 
upon  to  appeal,  may  be,  politically,  more  intensely  partisan 
than  the  House  of  Commons  from  which  the  appeal  has  been 
taken.  How  then  can  it  serve  the  purpose  of  protecting  the 
weak  against  the  strong,  while  it  is  itself  the  creature  of  tlie 
oppressor  ?  The  Senate  has  had  many  opportunities  in  recent 
years  to  discharge  this  duty,  notably  in  connection  with  Redis- 
tribution Bills  and  Franchise  Acts.  But  no  voice  came  from 
its  emblazoned  halls  against  the  political  brigandage  of  the 
Government,  whose  Hat  gave  it  existence.  So  strongly  did 
Mr.  Mackenzie  feel  the  dang-jr  to  which  he  was  exposed  from 
a  partisan  Senate,  that  in  December,  1878,  he  advised  that  an 
application  should  be  made  to  Her  Majesty  to  add  six  mem- 
bers to  the  Senate,  in  the  public  interest,  as  he  was  authorised 
to  do  by  the  2Gth  section  of  tlie  British  North  America  Act. 
The  Earl  of  Kimberley,  Colonial  Secretary,  in  a  despatch  dated 
February  18th,  1874,  stated  in  reply  that  after  a  careful  ex- 
amination of  the  question,  he  was  satisfied  that  it  was  intend- 
ed that  the  power  vested  in  Hnr  Majesty,  under  section  2G, 
should  be  exercised  in  order  to  provide  a  means  of  bringing 
the  Senate  into  accord  with  the  House  of  Connnons,  in  the 
event  of  an  actual  collision  of  opinion  between  the  two  Houses; 
and  that  Her  Majesty  could  not  be  advised  to  take  the  respou- 


390 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


sibility  of  interi'erin<T  with  the  constitution  of  the  Senate,  ex- 
cept upon  an  occasion  where  it  had  been  made  apparent  that 
a  difference  had  come  between  the  two  Houses  of  so  serious 
and  permanent  a  character  that  the  Government  could  not  be 
carried  on  without  lier  intervention,  and  when  it  could  be 
shoAvn  that  the  limited  creation  of  Senators  allowed  by  the 
Act  would  apply  an  adequate  remedy.  Third,  Mr.  Mills  con- 
tended that  the  Government  of  Sir  John  Macdonald  had 
broken  faith  with  the  Liberal  party  in  the  matter  of  Senator- 
ial appointments.  The  Senate  was  at  first  constituted  in  the 
palmy  days  or  the  coalition  of  18G7,  and  represented  pretty 
fairly  both  political  parties.  Since  tliat  time,  appointments 
have,  with  very  few  exceptions,  been  made  from  the  ranks  of 
the  Conservative  party,  and  thus  what  might  have  been  a  de- 
liberative body,  representing  the  two  great  elements  in  Can- 
adia?j  politics,  has  been  converted  into  a  Conservative  club,  the 
members  of  which  wore  duly  balloted  foi*  at  a  meeting  of  the 
Privy  Council,  and  afterwards  introduced  j^ro  forma  by  some 
other  member  in  good  standing. 

It  is  useless  to  urge,  as  Mr.  Mills  pointed  out,  that  Senators 
forego  their  party  politics  on  receiving  their  commission.  To 
admit  this  would  be  a  contradiction  of  the  practice  of  the 
Conservative  party  for  many  years.  If  they  are  not  poli- 
ticians in  any  party  sense,  why  is  it  that  they  have  been 
selected,  as  a  rule,  from  the  dominant  party  ?  Is  it  possible 
that  thoae  members  of  the  House  of  Commons  who,  up  to  the 
time  of  a  general  election,  were  most  active  in  propagating 
the  doctrine  of  their  party,  should,  on  entering  the  Senate,  a 
few  weeks  afterwards,  divest  themselves  of  all  party  feeling  ? 
Such  an  assumption  is  absurd,  and  contrary  'o  experience. 

Fouith,  Mr.  Mills  objected  to  the  appointment  of  Senators 
for  lif«5.     There  could  be  no  defence,  ho  contended,  for  invest- 


ible 
the 


THE  SESSION  OF  1875. 


391 


,'St- 


ing  men  with  power  to  shape  the  legislation  of  the  country 
who  were  practically  irresponsible  to  any  one  for  the  conclu- 
sions they  arrived  at.  If  they  were  an  echo  of  the  House  of 
Commons,  they  were  of  no  constitutional  value.  If  they  were 
to  be  a  check  upon  the  House  of  Commons,  or  if  by  ripe  ex- 
perience, and  by  calmness  of  judgment,  they  were  to  aid  the 
House  of  Commons  in  perfecting  legislation,  they  could  only 
do  this  by  receiving  instructions  at  intervals  from  the  people 
of  the  country,  either  by  direct  election  or  nomination  in 
some  other  way. 

In  the  course  of  the  debate,  which  was  a  very  interesting 
one,  it  was  clearly  seen  that  the  House  was  not  in  favor  of  the 
abolition  of  the  Senate.  Some  such  constitutional  safeguard 
under  our  federal  system  was  considered  necessary.  It  was 
also  clearly  the  opinion  of  the  House  that  if  the  Senate  was 
to  serve  the  purpose  for  which,  under  our  constitution,  it  was 
intended,  a  change  in  the  mode  of  appointment  was  necessary  ; 
and  aluhough  the  House  by  its  action  did  not  commit  itself  to 
any  particular  scheme,  the  general  expression  of  opinion  was 
evidently  in  favor  of  investing  in  the  Legislative  Assemblies 
of  the  different  Provinces  the  power  to  make  aippointments  to 
the  Senate.  The  reference  of  the  whole  (juestion  to  a  commit- 
tee was  adopted  by  a  small  majority,  the  vote  standing  77  to 
74. 

The  sessions  of  1874  and  1875  were  remarkable  for  the 
number  of  petitions  presented  in  favor  of  prohibition.  The 
temperance  men  of  Canada  had  stirred  up  the  public  opinion 
of  the  country  to  a  very  unusual  degree  during  these  two  years. 
As  a  result  of  that  sentiment,  they  k)oked  towards  the  Hou.se 
of  Commons  in  the  hope  of  obtaining  stringent  legislation  for 
restraining  the  liquor  traffic.  The  petitions  were  referred  to 
a  special  committee  for  considcjation,  and  \n  the  report  made 


!' 


Mil 


!  m 


i 


39-2 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


towards  the  close  of  tlie  session,  the  opinion  was  expressed 
"  that  it  would  be  expedient  to  take  such  ste[)S  as  would  pu*-. 
the  House  in  possession  of  full  information  as  to  the  opera- 
tion and  results  of  prohibitory  li(|Uor  laws  in  those  States  of 
the  American  Union  where  they  are  or  have  been  in  force, 
with  a  view  to  show  thuir  probable  working-  and  etiect  if  in- 
troduced into  Ci'nada." 

In  response  to  this  expression  of  opinion  b}'^  the  committee, 
the  Government  appointed  a  couniiission  consisting  of  E.  J. 
Davis  of  the  County  of  Lambton,  a  barrister  in  high  standing, 
and  the  Rev.  J.  W.  Manning  of  the  county  of  L  nark,  a 
gentleman  who  had  given  great  attention  to  the  Temperance 
question.  The  Commissioners  reported  early  in  1875.  after 
having  visited  several  of  the  New  England  States  where 
prohibitory  legislation  was  in  force,  and  from  the  evidence 
of  state  governors,  senators,  members  of  Congress,  judges, 
police  courts,  jailers,  etc.,  which  they  sulmiitted,  it  was  quite 
evident  that  prohibitory  legislation  tended  to  the  reduction  of 
intemperance.  It  was  therefore  proposed  that  the  House 
should  resolve  itself  into  committee  to  consider  a  resolution  de- 
claring "  that  a  prohibitory  liquor  law  fully  carried  out  is  the 
only  etlectual  remedy  for  the  evils  inflicted  upon  society  by  in- 
temperance, and  that  Parliament  is  pre})ared,  as  soon  as  public 
opinion  will  efiiciently  sustain  stringent  measures,  to  promote 
such  legislation  as  will  prohibit  the  manufacture,  importation 
and  sale  of  intoxicating  liquors  as  far  as  the  same  is  within 
the  competency  of  this  House." 

The  Temperance  men  of  the  House  and  of  tlie  country  were 
of  the  opinion  that  a  general  resohition  such  as  tlie  above, 
approving  the  principle  of  prohibition,  if  carried  by  the 
House,  would  greatly  aid  th(3  Tem[)erance  cause,  and  would 
assist  in  moulding  public  opinion  for  further  action. 


THE  SESSION  OF  1875. 


393 


An  attempt  was  made,  however,  to  take  political  advantage 
of  this  resolution  by  an  amendment  dechnh  ^  that  it  is  the 
duty  of  the  Government  to  submit  a  prohibitory  liquor  law 
for  the  approval  of  Parliament  at  the  earliest  possible 
moment.  After  considerable  debate,  at  different  periods  dur- 
ing the  session,  the  House  rose  without  giving  any  definite 
expression  of  opinion. 

In  th^  session  of  1876,  further  progress  was  made  by  the 
adoption  of  a  resolution  for  bringing  down  the  decisions  of 
the  courts  of  the  different  Provinces  with  regard  to  prohibi- 
tion. The  courts  appeared  to  be  undecided  as  to  where  juris- 
diction lay  with  regard  to  prohibition.  A  learned  judge  in 
the  east  contended  that  the  Dominion  Parliament  alone  could 
prohibit  the  liquor  traffic,  and  a  learned  judge  in  the  west  of 
equal  standing  advanced  the  view  that  the  Local  Legislature 
alone  could  prohibit  tlio  sale  of  intoxicating  liquors. 

In  1877,  on  motion  of  Mr.  Schultz,  the  Government  was 
again  called  upon  to  pass  a  proliibitory  liquor  law  at  the  earli- 
est moment  practicable.  To  this  motion  objection  was  taken 
that  the  question  of  jurisdiction  had  not  been  settled,  that 
there  was  a  case  before  the  Supreme  Court  which  would 
probably  determine  the  relative  jurisdiction  of  the  Provincial 
and  Dominion  Legislatures,  and,  under  the  circumstances, 
while  not  receding  from  any  declaration  previously  made,  it 
was  inexpedient  to  express  any  opinion  regarding  the  action 
to  be  taken  by  the  Government  in  dealing  with  this  matter. 
The  debate  which  grew  out  of  this  resolution  was,  in  some 
respects,  very  unsatisfactory.  To  change  the  current  of  pub- 
lic opinion  with  regard  to  liJibits  established  during  many 
generations,  is  not  the  work  of  a  day.  The  Temperance  men 
of  Canada,  for  thirty  or  forty  years,  had  done  a  great  deal  to 
create  a  Temperance  sentiment,  and  were  supported  by  a  very 


if  .■( 


M>. 


394 


LIFIC  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


\\ 


1  ! 


active  public  opinion  entitled  to  the  greatest  respect.  The 
practical  question,  however,  before  the  House,  was:  Could 
such  a  law,  if  passed,  be  enforced  ?  and  many  members  wlio 
were  supporters  of  the  Temperance  cause  had  grave  doubts  on 
this  point.  The  Government  felt,  besides  that  they  were  \in- 
fairly  treated  by  their  opponents.  Wliat  was  in  its  incep- 
tion and  development  a  purely  moral  question,  supported  out- 
side the  House  irrespective  of  party  line.s,  was  now  turned 
into  a  political  question,  and  if  the  motion  made  by  Mr. 
Schultz  prevailed,  the  Government  would  be  obliged  to  take 
action,  whether  public  opinion  Avould  warrant  it  or  not. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  defended  the  attitude  of  the  Government 

with  a  great  deal  of  spirit.     "  He  always  held,  although  an 

advocate  of  prohibition  for  nearly  thirty  yeai's,  that  it  ^^  as 

useless  to  give  legislation  on  this  or  any  other  question  until 

the  public  was  ready  for  it.     He  quite  admitted  that  pub.'ic 

men  of  standing  and  ability  might  lead  the  public  mind  lo  a 

considerable  extent.     To  legislate  in  advance  of  public  opinion 

was  merely  to  produce  anarchy  instead  of  maintaining  law 

and  order.     He  did  not  believe  that  public  opinion  was  ripe 

for  a  prohibitory  liquor  law,  even  if  the  power  was  located. 

He  believed  a  great  advance  had  been  made  towards  it.     He 

quite  admitted  that  ordinary  political  life,  ordinary  political 

affairs,  and  ordinary  political  qu'^stions  were  quite  secondary 

to  a  condition  of  such  vast  importance  as  would  be  produced 

by  a  reform  in  the  drinking  habits  of    the  country.      But 

abundant  evidence  was  furnished  in  the  shape  of  the  Inland 

Revenue  returns,  in  the  figures   presented  every  year,  that, 

while  there  had  been  more  intelligent  appreciation  on  the  part 

of  the  public  generally  of  the  views  of  Temperance  men,  and  a 

nearer  approach  to  that  state  of  public  opinion  which  would 

justify  a  not  very  remote  Legislature  in  enacting  a  somewhat 


^^m 


THE  SESSIOX  OF  1875. 


395 


striiifjent  measure  in  tliat  direetic  i,  it  was  quite  evident  from 
these  returns  that  the  drinking  habits  of  the  people  had  not 
to  any  extent  been  afi'ected  as  to  the  quantity  used,  by  the 
afjitation  which  had  prevailed  and  had  been  useful  in  its  way. 
There  were  more  ardent  spirits  consumed  this  moment  than 
ten  3'ears  ago.  It  was  quite  true  that  there  had  been  a  dimi- 
nution in  the  amount  last  year.  Whether  this  resulted  from 
an  improved  public  opinion,  from  the  greater  advance  of  tem- 
perance views  with  the  people  generally,  or  produced  to  some 
or  to  the  entire  extent  by  the  inability  to  purchase,  as  com- 
pared with  former  years,  he  would  not  venture  to  say.  He 
was  bound  to  take  a  fair  and  reasonable  view  of  the  difficul- 
ties in  the  way,  and  believed  at  this  moment  if  tlio  Legis- 
lature had  the  power,  and  in  the  exercise  of  that  power  should 
enact  a  Prohibitory  Liquor  Law,  it  would  be  impossible,  with 
the  support  which  was  to  be  obtained  at  present  from  public 
opinion,  to  carry  it  practically  into  eUcct.  He  believed  that 
they  would  run  great  danger  of  vastly  increasing  the  oppor- 
tunities for  the  illegal  sale  of  intoxicating  lit^uors,  instead  oi' 
having  it  controlled  bj''  some  sort  of  license  system,  as  at 
present.  Any  backward  step  in  this  movement  would  be  a 
fatal  calamity  to  the  prosperity  of  the  Temperance  cause  and 
of  the  country  generally." 

As  a  proof  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  sincerity  as  a  prohibitionist, 
in  1878  he  gave  to  the  country  the  Canada  Temperance  Act, 
which  will  be  considered  in  connection  with  the  legislation  of 
that  year. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  for  a  long  time  cherished  the  desire  to  make 
a  personal  inspection  of  the  Intercolonial  Railway  in  order  to 
get  further  knowledge  of  its  physical  features,  its  equipment 
and  its  management.  He  wished,  also,  to  inspect  other  public 
works  in  the  Eastern  Provinces.     He  gave  effect  to  this  desire 


I 


I  n 


ml. 


m 


396 


LIFH  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


in  the  latter  part  of  1875,  and  although  it  was  a  hurried  busi- 
ness visit,  he  could  not  decline  the  hospitalities  so  generously 
protl'ered  him  by  his  many  friends  in  the  Maritime  Provinces. 

In  the  city  of  St.  John,  he  was  tendered  a  banc^uet  to  which 
the  Hon.  J.  G.  Blaine,  then  travelling  in  the  Maritime  Pro- 
vinces, was  invited  to  meet  him.  Besides  leading  citizens  of 
the  town,  there  was  present  also  the  United  States  Consul, 
wlio,  in  addressing  the  guests,  spoke  of  himself  as  an  Ameri- 
can. Mr.  Mackenzie,  in  reply  to  the  toast  of  his  health,  re- 
ferred in  a  very  felicitous  manner  to  the  claim  made  by  the 
Consul  of  the  United  States  to  the  title  American : 

"  The  United  States  Consul — I  call  him  the  United  States 
Consul  because,  claiming  to  be  an  American  myself,  I  do  not 
care  to  see  one  nation  of  this  continent  monopolise  that  name 
— spoke  just  now  of  the  friendly  feelings  the  people  of  Can- 
ada and  the  United  States  should  entertain  towards  each 
other.  I  was  an  early  friend  to  the  union  of  the  Provinces, 
because  I  regarded  it  as  necessary  to  their  proper  growth  and 
development ;  and  I  believe  that  here  we  have  the  germ  of  a 
great  and  powerful  nation,  and  that  we  can  best  serve  the 
cause  of  libert}^  and  of  human  progress  by  being  faithful  to 
our  union,  which  I  trust  will  last  as  long  as  freedom  and  pro- 
gress live  on  earth.  I  am  also  and  always  have  been  a  fi'iend 
of  the  United  States.  During  the  ^v•ar  I  entertained  a  strong 
and  warm  feeling  for  the  Northern  cause,  because  I  knew  that 
it  meant  the  destruction  of  slavery  and  the  removal  of  the 
fetters  of  the  oppressed.  I  hope  the  day  will  never  come 
when  any  other  than  friendly  feelings  will  prevjiil  between 
the  people  of  Canada  and  the  United  States.  I  believe  the 
people  of  Canada  and  the  United  States,  though  forming  two 
distinct  nations,  will  in  the  future  be  so  thoroughly  united  in 
Bentiment  as  to  be  able  to  carry  the  influence  of  the  British 


THE  SESSION  OF  1875. 


397 


race  and  the  principles  of  British  liberty  into  all  countries. 
The  people  of  the  United  States  have  a  great  destiny  before 
them,  and  although  it  is  not,  I  believe,  their  manifest  destiny 
to  be  any  larger  in  territory  than  they  are  at  present — I  be- 
lieve my  friend,  Mr.  Blaine,  beside  me,  will  agree  with  me  tluit 
it  is  quite  large  enough  now — thoy  and  we  have  a  connnon 
task,  more  than  the  mere  support  of  a  particular  Government, 
or  the  securing  of  '  a  third  term,'  or  the  realisation  of  any  of 
those  small  political  issues  which  enter  more  or  less  into  the 
domestic  politics  of  nations.  We  have,  of  course,  to  give  some 
attention  to  these  questions,  and  to  the  keeping  of  certain 
machinery  in  running  order ;  but  these  are  the  secondary 
elements  of  statecraft,  and  are  not  comparable  in  point  of 
importance  to  those  higher  principles  which  move  nations,  and 
on  which  Canada  and  the  United  States  and  Britain  may 
occupy  a  common  ground.  The  United  States  have  pursued 
generally  a  policy  of  non-intervention  in  the  affairs  of  other 
nations,  and  Great  Britain  of  late  years  seems  to  have  largely 
adopted  this  principle.  No  doubt,  non-intervention  is  the 
proper  policy  in  most  cases,  and  perhaps  it  is  in  every  case  the 
easiest  policy  to  pursue ;  but  it  may  sometimes  be  carried  too 
far,  and  produce  very  disastrous  results.  I  do  not  think  that 
the  doctrine  of  non-intervention  should  be  pursued  to  such  an 
extent  as  never  to  permit  a  nation  to  lift  a  hand  on  behalf  of 
human  liberty,  or  to  grant  aid  and  comfort  to  the  struggling 
and  oppressed.  On  some  great  occasions  it  may  be  necessary 
in  the  future  for  America  and  Britain  to  send  more  than  a 
mere  word  to  aid  the  efforts  of  the  oppressed  ;  and  should 
such  a  necessity  occur,  it  would  surely  be  a  glorious  sight  to 
see  these  English-speaking  nations  banded  together  to  aid  less 
fortunate  people  to  obtain  that  measure  of  huii:au  liberty 
which  we  have  had  the  happines.s  to  enjoy  for  so  long  a  period 


tt"""^^ 


K 


398 


LIFE  OF  THE  JIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


ourselves.  As  a  Canadian  and  a  Briton,  if  I  have  had  an 
ambition,  it  has  been  to  have  my  country  play  a  part  in  the 
liberation  of  nations  from  the  fetters  which  ignorance  and 
bad  government  have  imposed  upon  them ;  and  while  desirous 
always  to  see  peace  on  earth  and  good-will  towards  men  pre- 
vail, I  know  that  these  blessings  can  sometimes  only  be  main- 
tained at  the  cannon's  mouth.  I  hope  that  the  people  of  the 
United  States  and  of  Great  Britain  will  always  remain  true 
to  those  great  principles  on  which  their  institutions  are 
founded,  and  that  their  flags  may  wave  together  in  beauty 
and  harmony  in  many  a  distant  land,  the  one  bearing  on  it 
that  emblem  of  the  might  of  the  Creator,  the  starry  heavens, 
which  express  His  infinite  power,  and  the  other  emblazoned 
with  the  emblem  of  God's  greatest  work,  tlic  redemption  of 
man." 

He  dwelt  upon  the  influence  of  Canada  as  a  maritime 
power  "  with  its  broad-armed  ports,  where,  laughing  at  the 
storm,  proud  navies  ride,"  and  as  a  complement  to  these  ad- 
vantages, he  referred  to  the  agricultural  resources  of  the 
North-West,  "  a  land  where  boundless  prairies  stretch  towards 
the  setting  sun,  a  land  where  millions  of  our  race  from  be- 
yond the  sea  can  find  for  themselves  a  peaceful  habitation,  a 
land  to  which  we  can  apply  the  words  of  Whittier : 

'  I  hear  the  tread  of  pioneers 

Of  nations  yet  to  be, 

The  first  low  wasli  of  waves  where  soon 

Shall  roll  a  human  sea.' " 

There  were  also  addresses  at  Carleton,  Amherst,  Halifax, 
Dorchester,  Moncton  and  Riinouski.  At  the  last  named  place 
Mr.  Mackenzie  took  occasion  to  refer  to  the  policy  of  his 
Administration  in  aflbrdiug  protection  to  men  employed  on 
public  works,  by  so  giving  etlect  to  contracts  that  those  who 


THE  SESSION  OF  1875. 


309 


labored  were  not  deprived  of  their  hard-earned  waf^es.  The 
French  Canadians  were  much  pleased  with  other  portions  of 
his  speech,  and  especially  with  those  passages  in  which  he 
referred  to  them  as  the  first  explorers  of  the  country  that  had 
been  given  to  all  nationalities  to  inhabit  in  common.  "  I  have 
myself  travelled  over  the  route  traversed  by  Pere  Marquette 
and  his  noble  companions.  Many  of  the  Jesuit  Fathers 
sought  out  the  shores  of  Lake  Superior  and  discovered  the 
sources  of  the  Mississippi  long  before  any  English  foot  had 
traversed  these  wilds,  and  I  cordially  acknowledge  that  we 
owe  much  to  the  hardy  and  patriotic  French  adventurers  of 
Canada's  early  days,  from  Jacques  Cartier  down  to  the  latest 
descendant  of  that  highly  distinguished  traveller  and  dis- 
coverer." 

He  made  a  felicitous  allusion  also  to  Rimouski  as  the 
county  which  had  given  Robert  Baldwin,  the  great  Liberal 
leader  of  Upper  Canada,  a  sea^  when  he  was  denied  a  con- 
stituency in  his  own  Province,  an  enlightened  and  courteous 
privilege  which  Avas  reciprocated  by  the  election  of  the  French 
Canadian  Liberal  leader,  Mr.  Lafontaine,  Mr.  Baldwin's  col- 
league for  the  County  of  York.  "  And  still  more  to  the 
credit  of  Lower  Canada  be  it  said  that  before  the  union  of 
the  Provinces  when  there  was  no  outside  influence  to  produce 
such  a  result,  the  fine  old  French  people,  pervaded  as  they 
always  have  been  by  the  feeling  to  do  justly  and  liberally  to 
all  men,  gave  to  the  Jew  those  privileges  in  common  with  the 
rest  of  the  community  which  he  was  unable  till  years  after- 
wards of  struggle  and  agitation  to  wring  even  from  the  Eng- 
lish people  tliemselves." 

Governor  Crawford's  illness  in  the  early  sunnner  of  1875, 
necessitated  the  appointment  of  an  administrator.  A  com- 
mission was  issued  to  Hon.  David  Christie,  but  he  never  exer- 


400 


LIFE  or  THE  IIOX.  ALEXAXDER  MACKEXZIE. 


cised  the  function,  Mr.  Crawi'oi-d  dvinrj  before  lie  couM  ont»'i' 
upon  his  duties,  and  the  British  North  America  Act  nuikiuf^ 
provision  merely  for  an  administrator  durin*;-  the  ahseuco 
or  illness  of  the  Lieutenant-Governor.  The  duty  was  then 
forced  upon  the  Government  of  making  an  immediate  appoint- 
ment,  and  Mr.  Mackenzie  ottered  it  to  Mr.  Brown  M'ith  the 
unanimous  desire  of  the  council  that  he  should  accept  it:  "I 
will  forbear  expressing-  my  own  opinion  of  your  acceptance 
of  it,  not  being  willing  to  say  a  word  calculated  to  interfere 
in  the  least  degree  with  your  own  good  judgment.  I  will 
only  say  that  I  shall  be  glad  if  your  decision  is  hi  accordance 
with  my  views." 

After  giving  Mr.  ^Mackenzie's  otter  a  niglits  very  serious 
consideration,  and  looking  at  it  from  all  points  of  view  per- 
sonal, domestic  and  political,  he  came  to  the  conclusion  that 
he  could  better  serve  the  country  and  his  party  by  pursuing 
the  line  he  had  already  chalked  out  for  himself,  than  by 
accepting  the  great  honor  wdiich  was  so  generously  tendered 
him.     The  place  was  next  ottered  to  Mr.  D.  A.  MacdonaM, 


Postmaster  General,  Mr.  ^lacdonald  accepted,  and  entered 
upon  his  duties  at  once.  By  this  appointment,  Mr.  Mackenzie 
lost  an  al)le  colleague  and  a  good  councillor,  and  the  Province 
of  Ontario  obtained  a  Licni tenant-Governor  who,  during  a 
full  tei'm,  discharged  the  duties  of  his  office  with  ability  and 
impartiality, 


THE  SESSION  OF  1S75. 


401 


On  St.  Andrew's  day  Mr.  Mackenzie  delivered  a  speech  at 
the  annual  bancjuet  of  the  Caledonian  Society  of  Ottawa, 
which,  as  mif,dit  have  been  expected,  was  wortliy  of  the  occa- 
sion. It  was  a  noble  appeal  in  favor  of  British  connection  and 
national  union.  "  A  few  years  ago,"  lie  said,  "  a  very  insigni- 
ficant proportion  of  the  people  of  Canada,  and  ho  hoped  as 
insignificant  a  pi'oportion  of  the  people  on  the  other  side  of  the 
Atlantic,  were  looking  to  the  severance  of  the  ]\Iother  Country 
from  the  colonies  as  a  matter  of  course  and  only  as  matter  of 
time.  But  within  the  last  year  or  two  there  had  been  a  great 
change  of  opinion  in  England  upon  that  subject.  He  could 
scarcely  call  the  extinction  in  Canada  of  the  theory  a  groat 
change;  there  were  so  few  who  ever  entertained  it.  They 
might  now  hope  that  no  further  doubt  could  exist  as  to  the  in- 
timacy of  the  relationship  to  be  maintained  between  the  Kng- 
lish-speaking  people,  now  forming  the  British  Empire,  and  the 
Crown  and  person  of  Her  Majesty  and  Her  successors  to  the 
end  of  time." 

He  declared  his  conviction  that  it  was  "  the  proudest  posi- 
tion Great  Britain  could  occupy  that  the  overshadowing  prwer 
and  influence  which  she  has  so  long  possessed  in  giving  shape 
to  the  destinies  and  relations  of  nations  are  always  exercised 
with  a  viev/  to  the  amelioration  of  the  condition  of  mankind ; 
that  she  has  tiie  will  as  well  as  the  power  to  maintiiin,  in  a 
great  measure,  the  peace  of  the  rest  of  the  world,  and  that 
prosperity,  peace  and  contentment  have  followed  her  flag  all 
over  the  earth,  upon  whatever  si^il  it  lias  ever  been  planted. 
May  its  march  of  triumph  never  1)0  interrupted,  until  it  shall 
become  the  one  absorbing  and  powerful  instrumentality  in  the 
hands  of  Providence  for  the  prevention  of  war,  the  extension 
of  commerce,  and  the  promotion  of  the  arts  of  peace.  To  the 
full  extent  of  their  power.  Her  Majesty's  Government  in  Can- 
z 


llf 


402 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXAXDER  MACKENZIE. 


a^a,  of  wliich  lie  was  a  member,  avouUI  contribute  to  the 
development  ami  maintenance  of  this  sentiment.  At  the  same 
time  he  wished  his  hearers  always  to  remember  that  Canada 
is  our  home ;  that  while  we  think  with  'gratitude  of  the  land 
of  our  birth,  while  our  hearts  are  filled  with  the  warmest 
patriotism  when  its  history  and  its  heroes  are  recalled  to 
mind,  we  should  not  foro-et  tliat  we  have  m'eat  duties  and 
re;jponsibi'.ities,  not  of  a  sectional,  biit  of  a  national  character 
to  discharge,  and  that  we  ought  to  devote  ourselves  faithfully 
and  honestljT'  to  the  task  of  creating  and  upholding  a  Can- 
adian spirit,  Canadian  sentiment  and  Canadian  enthusiasm  ; 
in  a  word,  a  spirit  of  nationality  always  British,  but  still 
Canadian.  The  patriotism  of  the  British  people  and  Govern- 
ment will  ever  be  with  us,  and  we  in  turn  hope  always  to 
reside  under  the  shadow  of  the  j^rain]  old  llai-'  of  England,  at 
once  the  symbol  of  power  and  of  civilization.  He  knew  these 
sentiments  to  be  the  expi'ession  of  the  aspirations  which 
animate  the  great  body ;  might  he  not  say  the  whole  of  the 
Canadian  people.  He  had  had  the  pleasure  oi.  visiting  his 
nati\e  country  during  the  year  and  of  conversing  personally 
with  Her  Majesty  the  Queen.  It  was  with  a  fueling  of  rever- 
ence he  enjoyed  that  privilege,  for  of  ail  the  monarchs  who 
have  ever  reigned  over  this  or  any  other  people,  none  had 
better  deserved  that  loyalty  and  love  so  heartily  manifested 
by  all  her  subjects  than  our  good  Queen  Victoria.'' 

For  this  speech  Mr.  Mackenzie  recei\ed,  through  His  Excel- 
lency the  Governor-General,  a  very  kind  congratulatory  note 
from  Her  Majesty. 


til 

IP 

t 


CHAPTER  XXVTI. 


VISIT  TO  SCOTLAND   IN   1875. 


On  a  Holiday — A  Guest  at  Windsor — Invitation  to  Perth — Impressions  of 
England — "  Hodge  " — The  British  Commons — Spurgeon — Farrar — Freedom 
of  Dundee — Address  to  the  Workingmen — Freedom  of  Perth — Address  at 
Dunkeld — The  "Home-Coming"  at  Logierait — Freedom  of  Irvine — Address 
at  Greenock— The  Clyde-  The  Theology—Lord  Dufferiu'a  Tribute  to  hia 
First  Minister — George  Brown's  Letter  on  Taste. 

,  TIE  summer  of  1875  was  more  of  a  holiday  for  the 
Premier  than  he  had  enjoyed  for  years  before ; 
3''efc,  perhaps  at  no  period  of  his  life  did  he  do  bet- 
ter service  for  his  country  than  by  his  speeches 
in  June  and  July  of  that  year  in  Scotland,  whither  he 
was  accompanied  by  Mrs.  Mackenzie.  The  "  nameless 
mason  lad  "  of  1842,  had  now  returned  to  his  native  land  to 
receive  the  highest  honors,  municipally,  which  it  was  in  the 
power  of  the  people  of  that  country  to  bestow,  and  to  receive 
the  higher  distinction  still  of  being  the  guest  of  Her  Majesty 
tir;  Queen,  at  Windsor.  Freedoms  of  boroughs  were  showered 
upon  him,  banquets  were  given  for  his  entertainment,  meet- 
ings were  held  for  the  purpose  of  hearing  addresses  from  him, 
and  he  was  sought  out  and  feted  everywhere.  But  who  can 
doubt  that  the  demonstration  from  which  he  derived  the 
greatest  pride  and  pleasure,  next  to  his  reception  by  his  Sov- 
ereign, was  that  which  awaited  him  in  his  native  village  of 
Logierait  ? 

403 


4()1 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


The  forecast  of  the  Scottish  welcome  is  contained  in  the  fol- 
lowinij  letter  from  the  Lord  Provost  of  Perth  : 


"  City  Chambers, 

"  Peutii,  30th  Juno,  1875. 

*'  To  the  Honurahle  Alexander  Mackenzie,  Prime  Minister  of  Canada. 

"  Sir, — The  T<)wn  Council  of  the  Royal  Burgh  of  Perth,  havnifj  observed 
from  the  public  prints  that  you  are  at  present  in  this  country,  and  will, 
in  all  probability,  revisit  your  native  county,  are  desirous  of  showing; 
the  utmost  respect  to  one  Avho,  by  liis  merits,  has  risen  to  such  eminence 
as  you  have  done,  and  I  am  to  ask  whether  it  will  suit  your  pleasure  to 
receive  at  the  hands  of  the  Council  the  freedom  of  the  burgh. 
"I  have  the  honor  to  be,  etc., 

"Auch'd.  McDonald, 

''  Lord  Provost." 

Before,  however,  making  what  the  London  Times  has  fitly 
called  this  "involuntary  triumphant  progress  through  liis 
early  haunts  in  Scotland,"  Mr.  Mackenzie  spent  considerable 
time  in  England,  chieily  in  London,  in  the  discharge  there  of 
public  duties.  While  in  Great  Britain,  he  addressed  many  in- 
teresting letters  to  his  Secretary.  We  print  here  a  portion  of 
the  first,  written  from  the  Westminster  Palace  Hotel,  London, 
June  22nd  : 

"I  meant  to  have  .vritton  you  by  last  mail,  but  I  had  so  much  other 
correspondence,  and  so  nmch  of  my  time  was  taken  up  seeing  callers  that 
I  had  none  left. 

**  It  seems  we  were  singularly  fortunate  in  our  voyage,  as  the  steamers 
before,  and  behind,  and  beside  us  wore  in  the  ice  and  fog.  Where  the 
Zicksbui'g  sunk  on  the  2nd  wo  were  in  clear  water  and  a  clear  atmos- 
phere with  gorgeous  icebergs  as  a  grand  sight  to  admire.  On  the  evening 
of  the  1st  I  retired  to  bed  half  dressed,  with  everything  in  readiness  fi;r 
ft  quick  start  in  case  of  a  fog  and  a  smash.     I  was  in  a  ship  once  tli;it 

struck,  and  understood  the  danger.     I  am  informed  here  by 

that  the  Sarmatian  really  did  have  a  narrow  escape.     I  told  him  their 


VISIT  TO  SCOTLAND  IN  lS7o. 


405 


danger  and  our  safety  were  sufficiently  accounted  for  by  liis  presence  and 
mine  in  the  respective  shipi. 

"  Well,  we  have  seen  little  bits  of  London  and  Encjland.  First,  beauti- 
ful Wales  ;  then  the  horrible  black  country  durinjif  a  rainy  duy.  It  was 
like  the  envir  )ns  of  the  pit.  Wolverhampton,  Birmingham,  and  other 
towns  there  looked  like  dirty  encampments,  with  red  brick  tents.  No 
doubt  they  all  hp.ve  fine  buildings,  decent  streets,  and  clean  shirts  some- 
whex-e— only  we  didn't  see  them.  After  passing  this  quarter  we  went 
through  a  charming  country  via  Banbury  (Inuis),  Oxford  and  Reading. 
The  profusion  of  trees,  hedges  and  flowers  made  the  country  most  pleas- 
ing.    The  humblest  cottages  seemed  to  have  an  abundance  of    choice 

flowers."    I  stayed  three  days  at ,  wliere  I  heard  a  good  sermon 

from  an  8G-year-old  vicar,  and  prayers  read  by  a  curate  whom  I  judged 
by  his  conversation  to  have  little  knowledge  of  prayer  in  any  other  form. 
He  told  me  frankly  in  the  evening,  when  noticing  my  absence  from  the 
second  service,  that  he  would  have  been  absent  also  if  ho  were  not  com- 
pelled to  go,  as  *  no  fellow  should  go  more  than  once  a  day.' 

"Rural  England  is  pretty.  'Hodge'  is  degraded,  however,  and  with 
11  shillings  to  13  shillings  a  week  (where  I  was)  how  could  he  be  other- 
wise ? " 

"Society  here  is  '  classified'.  Ministers  even,  of  plebeian  origin,  bow 
lowly  enough  to  the  Dukes  in  the  Cabinet.  The  rule  is  for  everybody  to 
know  his  station  and  keep  it.  At  a  dinner  given  yesterday,  by  a  state 
dignitary,  to  the  Duke  of  Cam1)ridge,  none  but  the  heads  of  ncjble  fam- 
ilies were  asked,  exce[)t  his  own  son.  For  my  own  [lart,  I  called  on  no 
ministers  who  had  not  previously  called  on  mo.  All  the  ministers  have 
done  that  now,  except  the  Duke  of  Richmond. 

"  I  spent  some  of  my  evenings  in  the  Commons,  and  rather  liked  the 
ways  of  the  House — not  materially  dillorent  from  oui'selves  in  Canada, 
except  in  minor  matters,  chiefly  divisions.  >iot  only  do  they  go  into 
lobbies  when  sitting  as  a  House,   but  all  the  divisions  in  committee  are 

the  same  as  when  the  Speaker  is  in  the  chair.     One  night acted  Tom 

Ferguson  and ,     He   went   to  the  utmost  verge  of  endurance  witli 

coarse  language.     I  heard  no  better  8[)eaking  than  in  our  own  House.     I 
was  in  the  Lords  one  evening,  but  heard  nothing  of  consecjuencc. 

"  I  was  deeply  interested  in  visiting  historic  spots.  I  was  bloody-minded 
enough  to  go  first  where  the  king  was  executed,  and  I  wished  tliat  all 


!  i 


1  ! 


40G 


LIFE  OF  TUB  I/OX.  ALEXANDEIl  MACKEXZIF. 


1 
i' 

1 

t:  1 

i 

'^5 

y  ; 

the  Stuarts  had  taken  their  proper  and  obvious   lubsun  from  the  dreadful 
scene  on  that  memorable  day. 

"  Wo  heard  Spurgeon,  and  ti-ied  to  hear  Doan  Stanley  on  Sunday,  but 
another  (Archdeacon  Farrar)  preached  for  the  dean.  Spurgeon'a  congrega- 
tion packed  the  edifice  completely,  and  so  did  the  dean's.  I  liked  both 
the  preachers  very  much.  Mr.  Farrar's  sermon  was  fine  in  language 
and  sentiment ;  Spurgeon's  also  correct  — nearly  pure  Saxon.  Farrar's 
excelled  in  literary  finish  ;  S2)urgeon's  excelled  as  an  appeal  to  tlie  heart 
and  as  a  sound  statement  of  doctrine.  Farrar's  description  of  Saul  in 
his  last  extremity,  when  uniting  with  the  woman  to  call  up  Sanmel,  and 
the  prophet's  appearance,  or  supposed  appearance,  was  remarkably  fine. 
Spurgeon's  dissection  of  human  nature  was  a  com[)lete  specimen  of  moral 
anatomy.  '  The  great  cathedral  vast  and  dim,'  with  the  fine  organ  and 
the  surpliced  choir,  and  the  towering  monuments  of  the  mighty  dead  all 
round,  seemed,  while  the  beautiful  English  service  was  being  read,  not  of 
this  earth.  The  '  tabernacle  '  looked  like  business.  There  ai)[)cared  to 
be  nothing  there  but  what  was  wanted,  and  not  one  idle  or  sui)erHuous 
word  was  said. " 

Next  month  the  frccdoni  of  Dundee  was  conferred  upon 
him  by  the  Provost,  in  tlie  midst  of  a  great  assembla;j,e  of 
ladies  and  gentlemen.  In  making  the  presentation,  the  Pro- 
vost said  the  distinction  was  one  which  was  conl'envd  but 
rarely  now,  and  was  reserved  for  those  who  had  rendercMJ  im- 
portant political  services,  so  that  on  the  honorary  burgess  roll 
of  Dundee  were  recorded  the  names  of  eminent  statesmen, 
legislators  and  men  of  science.  The  casket  containing  tlu; 
burgess  ticket  was  of  solid  silvei',  with  the  arms  of  Dundee 
and  Canada  encircled  in  wreaths. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  spoke  ably  and  feelingly  in  acknowledg- 
ment, referring  to  the  greatness  of  Canada,  as  the  country 
occupying  the  third  rank  in  the  world,  after  Great  Britain, 
her  mother,  in  shipping  and  in  connnercial  and  mercantile 
enterprise,  and  possessing  a  revenue  nearly  twenty-fixc  times 
the  amount  of  the  national  revenue  of  Scotland  innnediatelv 


VISIT  TO  SCOTLAND  IN  1875. 


407 


iidful 


upon 


'ro- 


bet'ore  the  union.  He  spoke  of  the  vastness  of  her  cultivable 
land ;  of  the  value  of  her  other  great  natural  resources ;  of 
the  elasticity  and  freedom  of  her  social  life ;  of  her  educa- 
tional advantages  ;  of  the  instincts  of  her  people  for  constitu- 
tional government,  but  showed  a  warm  side  for  "  Scotland 
still."  "  While."  he  said,  "  I  shall  continue  to  reside  for  the 
remaining  days  of  my  life  in  Canada,  I  cannot,  if  I  would, 
and  would  not,  if  I  could,  throw  otl'  all  allegiance  to  my  own 
proud  nationality  of  Scotland.  And,  sir,  it  is  not  necessary 
that  any  one  should  do  so.  The  children  of  Israel,  when  they 
were  taken  captive  by  the  great  Eastern  monarch,  were  asked 
by  their  Babylonian  captors  to  sing  them  a  song  of  Zion. 
They  replied  :  '  How  can  we  sing  the  songs  of  Zion  in  a 
strange  land  ?  May  my  right  hand  forget  its  cunning,  if  I 
forget  thee,  0,  Jerusalem  ! '  We  can,  as  Scotchmen,  sing  our 
national  songs — songs  of  freedom  or  aHection,  whether  [Jaced 
in  Canada  or  Australia;  whether  in  the  Arctic  or  Antarctic 
zones,  and  feel  our  national  anthem  to  be  as  dear  to  us  in  one 
place  as  in  another ;  for  the  broad  banner  of  British  liberty 
floats  alike  over  every  country  of  the  British  Empire." 

The  presentation  was  followed  by  a  magnificent  bamjuet,  at 
which  Mr.  Mackenzie  took  occasion  to  advocate  the  free-trade 
principles  of  Richard  Cobden,  as  the  real  principles  of  civili- 
zation the  world  over,  and  to  rejoice — without  a  knowledge 
tiien  of  what  should  come  after — that  the  days  of  class  legis- 
lation and  monojiolies  were  no  more. 

Next  evening,  a  large  meeting  was  convened  in  Dundee, 
wlien  an  address  was  presented  him  by  the  working  men. 
Passages  from  his  speech  in  reply  will  ever  live  in  the  people's 
hearts. 


"Sir,"  ho  sjiitl,  "I  was  oxceoilingly  pleased  to  hear  the  expressions  of 
the  two  gentlemen  who  have  spoken  here  to-night,  and  1  have  merely  to 


408 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


say  Avith  reference  to  that  part  of  their  speeches  which  alluded  to  the 
possibility,  the  practicability,  the  certainty  of  those  who  are  diligent  and 
energetic  rising  in  the  colonies  to  occupy  political  positions  of  distinction, 
that  I  think  the  workingnien  in  Britain,  as  well  as  in  the  colonies,  do  not 
do  themselves  justice  when  they  believe  that  the  highest  political  posi- 
tions are  shut  out  from  them  by  reason  of  social  distinctions.  For  my 
own  part,  I  never  allude  to  the  fact  that  I  have  been  a  workingman  as  a 
reason  why  I  should  be  rejected,  or  why  I  should  be  accepted.  I  base 
my  entire  claim  to  public  confidence  upon  the  expression  of  the  opinions 
which  I  hold,  and  which  I  believe  command  public  confidence,  and  upon 
the  worth  of  those  principles  of  which  I  have  been  jin  humble  advocate 
for  many  years.  I  am  quite  sure  when  I  address  so  enlightened  a  body 
of  men  as  the  workingmen  of  Dundee,  who  comprise  the  greater  part  of 
this  meeting,  I  can  do  so  believing  that  I  shall  find  a  full  response  in 
their  hearts  to  the  opinions  I  utter  when  I  press  upon  them  the  necessity 
— the  absolute  necessity  as  a  first  measure,  as  the  very  foundation,  in 
fact,  of  success  in  life — that  they  shall  assume  an  erect  position  ;  tliat 
they  shall  respect  their  own  manhood  ;  knowing  that  if  they  possess  self- 
respect,  they  will  soon  compel  all  other  people  to  respect  them.  It  is 
quite  true  that  you  have  in  this  country  a  class  who  are  elevated  above 
the  rest  by  reason  of  the  favor  of  the  Sovereign  ;  but  do  not  from  that 
imagine  for  a  moment  thn,t  class  distinctions  are  peculiar  to  this  country. 
Go  to  the  Republic  of  the  United  States  of  America,  and  you  will  find 
there,  I  venture  to  say,  more  class  distinctions  created  by  wealth  tlian 
you  will  find  in  this  countiy  by  titular  distinctions  founded  on  the  landed 
property  of  the  country.  And  it  is  a  matter  of  moonshine  to  you  and  to 
mo  whether  the  inlluence  which  separates  the  great  body  of  the  people 
from  the  few  is,  as  in  the  United  States  of  America,  the  possession  of 
enormous  wealth  and  the  erection  of  peculiar  social  barriers  which  shut 
out  all  but  a  favored  few,  or  whether  it  is,  as  in  most  other  countries,  the 
barriers  erected  by  a  long  process  of  law,  and  by  the  exercise  of  the 
Sovereign's  favor.  In  your  case,  you  have  in  this  country,  as  we  have  in 
Canada,  and  as  there  is  in  all  other  British  colonies  and  in  the  Republic 
of  the  United  States,  the  most  ample  field  for  the  operation  of  your  in- 
tellects and  powers ;  and  it  is  the  fault  of  the  individual  and  not  of  the 
political  system  if  ho  fails  to  attain  to  some  reasonable  success  in  life,  and 
some  comfort  in  social  existence. " 


175/7'  TO  SCOTLAND  IX  1S75. 


40'J 


Again,  in  Perth,  there  was  a  (listinguishcd  company  when 
he  entered  the  city  hall,  on  July  IGth,  and  received  there  the 
freedom  of  that  city,  at  the  hands  of  the  Lord  Provost,  fof 
his  services  and  in  proof  of  Pertlishirc  pride  in  him  as  a 
native  of  the  county.  The  Lord  Provost  expressed  the  grati- 
fication he  felt,  and  wliich  the  cheering  showed  was  sIuuvmI  hy 
all  present,  on  recei\ing  tlie  first  letter  from  Mr.  ^Maelcnzie,  to 
find  that  he  had  not  discarded  the  Gaelic,  as  it  had  on  the  top 
the  motto,  "Cuidich  au  rigli,"  or  "The  King's  People."  Mr. 
Mackenzie's  reply  was  very  apposite  and  happy.  The  longing 
of  many  years  was  realise<l,  of  being  again  among  his  own 
l^eople  of  Perthshire — of  being  able  once  more  to  place  his 
foot  upon  her  soil  and  to  tread  her  lieathery  hills.  His  motto 
had  been  interpreted  to  be  "tlio  King's  People,"  and  his  family, 
or  race,  or  clan,  had  always  endeavored  to  act  up  to  it  by 
helping  the  monarch  dn  every  time  of  need.  The  British  Em- 
pire was  wortliy  of  every  sacrifice,  and  In  the  United  States, 
alienated  politically  from  us  as  they  ^\'ere,  there  was  a  large 
and  powerful  section  of  the  people  who  appreciated  and  a<l- 
mired  the  greatness,  tlie  power,  and  tlie  generosity  of  the 
British  nation.  "They  boast,  sir,"  he  said,  "  that  their  fiag, 
with  its  stars,  contains  an  emblem  of  God  s  greatness,  as 
representing  the  most  wonderfiU  works  of  creation,  extending 
over  what  Chalmers  calls  '  the  iinmensit}'  of  space  ; '  we,  on 
the  other  hand,  can  say  that  our  fiag  is  the  token  of  a  still 
greater  woi'k — tlie  greatest  indeed  of  God's  works — the  Cross, 
the  emblem  of  the  redemption  of  man." 

As  at  Dundee,  the  interesting  ceremony  wa3  folic  ved  by  a 
banquet,  and  on  the  following  evening  an  address  was  pre- 
sented at  Dunkeld  at  a  public  meeting  of  the  inhabitants, 
Mr.  Mackenzie  replying  thereto  in  an  afi'ecting  speech,  recall- 
ing the  incidents  of  ins  early  days  in  a  place  where  he  said 


0 
li.'f  . 


410 


LIl'E  or  THE  IIOX.  A  LEX  AX  Dim  MACKEXZIE. 


he  almost  reincmbcred  every  turn  oi:  the  road,  every  rock  and 
every  boulder. 

When  he  reached  Logierait,  his  native  villafrc,  on  the  20th, 
Mr.  Mackenzie  found  the  house  which  had  been  built  by  his 
father,  and  in  whicli  he  was  born,  covered  by  the  union  jack, 
and  a  splendidly  decorated  marquee  of  larr^e  size  pitched  in  a 
field  for  a  banquet.  This  was  ]iresided  over  by  Sir  Alex.  Muir 
Mackenzie,  Bart,  of  Delvine,  in  place  of  the  Duke  of  Athol, 
whose  previous  en<;'tigements  prevented  him  from  beinrr  present 
to  receive  the  distin<»uished  descendant  of  the  lessee  of  his  an- 
cestor's  mill  at  Kincraigic.  Sucl  a  company  had  probably 
never  before  gathei'ed  within  that  grand  amphitheatre  of 
nature,  lying  between  some  of  the  most  magnificent  of  Scot- 
land's mountains,  and  they  ga\e  their  honored  son  the  warm- 
est of  "  hame-comings." 

To  an  address  read  by  Rev.  James  Fraser,  M.A.,  minister  (  f 
Loi-'ierait,  in  whieh  it  was  stated  that  the  illustrious  career  of 
their  distiniiuished  son  would  be  an  incentive  to  their  children 
to  "  trust  in  God  and  do  the  right,"  Mr.  Mackenzie  made  a 
feeling  reply.  He  said,  that  of  all  the  pleasant  gatherings  he 
had  had  the  pleasure  of  attending  since  his  arrival  in  Scot- 
land, this  was  in  many  respects  the  most  touching.  He  was 
now  standing  where  lil'ty  years  ago  he  luu^  played  as  a  child, 
within  sioht  of  tlie  liouse  where  Ke  lirst  saw  the  liijht.  Ten- 
der  recollections  of  father,  mother,  lavthren  and  friends  welled 
up  in  his  mem<iry  and  almost  de[)rived  him  of  utterance. 
Within  a  few  hundred  yards  was  the  burial  place  of  his  an- 
cestors, wdiich  he  had  \isited  to-day,  after  a  long,  long  absence. 
Could  all  the  dear  ones  of  his  family  who  had  departed,  and 
whom  he  had  known,  have  met  him,  the  gathering  would  have 
been  diveste<l  of  a  tinge  of  sadness  which  he  could  not  pre- 
vent stealing  over  and  oppressing  his  spirit.     He  recognised 


VISIT  TO  SCOTLAND  IN  1875. 


411 


few  faces  at  the  table,  though  their  names  were  familiar,  hut 

among  them  he  gladly  saw  some  old  friends  of  his  father  s, 

whose  names  and  lineaments  would  never  be  forgotten.     He 

recalled  the  lines  of  Sir  Walter  Scott  in  the  "  Lady  of  the 

Lake " : 

"  These  fertile  plains,  that  softened  dale, 

Were  once  the  birthright  of  the  Gael  ; 

The  Saxon  eanio  with  ruthless  hand, 

And  from  our  fathers  reft  the  land. 

"  Pent  in  this  fortress  of  the  North, 
Think'st  tliou  wc  will  not  sally  forth 
To  spoil  the  spoiler  as  we  may, 
And  from  llic  robbers  rend  ilie  prey?  " 

He  was  proud  that  one  of  his  clansmen  had  .succeeded  in 
wresting  so  many  of  these  fertile  vales  from  those  intruders, 
and  bringing  them  back  to  his  own  people.  He  spoke  proudly, 
too,  of  Canada,  the  country  to  which  he  owed  so  much,  and 
especially  of  the  service  it  had  rendered  to  human  liberty 
when  it  was  the  sole  city  of  refuge  in  America  for  the  poor, 
hunted  negro.  "  Thank  God,"  he  said,  "  the  era  of  human 
slavery  in  the  United  States  has  now  passed  away,  but  I  can- 
not forget  the  beneficent  part  played  by  Canada  in  terminat- 
ing the  slave-masters'  power.  In  Britain  you  cannot  so  well 
realise  as  we  can  how  much  there  is  in  your  own  proud 
boast,  that 

'  Slaves  cannot  breathe  in  England  ;  if  their  lungs 
Receive  our  air,  that  moment  they  are  free  ; 
They  touch  our  country,  and  their  shackles  fall.' 

For  in  Canada  I  have  often  at  the  frontier  met  the  wretched 
slave  escaping  from  his  taskmaster,  alter  a  perilous  journey 
of  hundreds  of  miles,  with  nothing  to  guide  him  in  his  night 
wanderings  but  the  north  star ;  but  once  there,  he  was  under 


I 


i 

H 

lir 


:.i\ 


, 

1 

'1      1 

! 

1 

412 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEX^.NDER  MACKENZIE. 


the  protection  of  the  red  cross  flag,  the  sight  of  which  stopped 
the  pursuit  and  proclaimed  the  negro  fugitive  a  free  man." 

The  third  Scottish  freedom  presented  to  Mr.  Mackenzie  was 
that  of  the  Lorougl^  of  Irvine,  a  town  attached  to  him,  as  he 
said  it  was,  by  a  native  of  that  place  who  had  stood  in  the 
nearest  relationship  to  him.  Ho  regretted  the  signs  he  had 
witnessed  of  the  depopulation  of  the  rural  districts,  for  "  a 
brave  peasantry "  wr  •'^  peculiarly  "  the  country's  pride  "  in 
Scotland,  and  felt  thankful  that  no  such  changes  could  take 
place  in  Canada,  where  aluK^ot  everyone  was  a  proprietor,  or 
could  become  one.  The  magnificent  and  powerful  British 
settlements,  such  as  Canada,  were  growing  in  strength  with 
unexampled  I'apidity  in  every  quarter  of  the  globe,  so  that  the 
days  of  serious  danger  to  the  mother  country  were  fast  draw- 
ing to  a  close.  The  dependencies  were  gigantic  limbs  of  tlie 
parent  state  through  which  pulsated  the  blood  from  the 
heart  of  the  empire.  Aiding  the  parent  state,  the  enormous 
populations  which  these  colonies  were  soon  destined  to  possess, 
would  be  able  in  arms  to  set  the  world  at  defiance,  and  in 
peace  exercise  a  moral  influence  of  incalculable  benefit  to  the 
well-being  of  humanity. 

In  the  Council  Hall  at  Greenock,  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  wel- 
comed by  an  address  from  the  Chauiber  of  Commerce,  and  he 
availed  himself  of  the  opportunity,  as  he  had  done  elsewhere, 
of  dwelling  upon  the  great  physical  features  of  his  own  coun- 
try and  the  expenditures  she  had  made  in  providing  facilities 
for  extending  her  own  commerce  and  the  commerce  of  the 
world.  Within  a  period  of  thirty  years,  he  reminded  his 
hearers,  Canada  had  spent  the  large  sum  of  ten  millions  of 
pounds  sterling  in  improving  the  navigable  waters  connecting 
the  great  lakes  with  each  other  and  with  the  waters  of  tlie 
St.  Lawrence,  and  the  people  of  the  Dominion  believed  that 


I'ISIT  TO  aCOTLAXD  IN  1875. 


413 


the  same  spirit,  the  .same  enterprise  and  the  same  expenditure 
of  money  which  luid  made  the  Clyde  one  of  the  greatc.st  rivers 
uf  the  world,  would,  within  the  time  of  tlie  present  generation, 
make  the  St.  Lawi'ence  the  great  liigliway  to  the  interior  of 
the  continent  of  America — a  highway  which  could  not  pos- 
sibly have  a  rival.  He  referred  also  to  the  Canadian  Pacific 
Railway,  bringing  Canada  a  thousand  miles  nearer  Japan  than 
San  Francisco,  the  great  seaport  of  the  United  States  on  the 
Pacific  Coast. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  spoke  of  the  Clyde.  About  the  same  time 
he  wrote  as  follows  regarding  it : 

"  Cubbett  complained  of  tliu  state  of  the  Rhino  after  passing  Coloffne. 
He  should  come  back  and  see  the  Clyde  after  passing  Glasgow.  It  is  of 
the  consistency  of  still"  gruel,  but  the  constituent  parts  are  not  so  savoury. 
You  can  feel  the  smell  on  the  bridges  and  the  steamers  so  strong  that  it 
is  most  otibnsive.  The  air  is  filled  with  smoke  and  noxious  gases,  tiie 
water  with  sewage,  the  streets  with  titljacco  smoke,  and  the  people  with 
whiskey,  but — the  theology  is  s(jund.  I  feel  a  burning  desire  to  white- 
wash the  whole  valley,  and  get  the  gulf  stream  or  some  stream  of  the 
same  size  emptied  in  above  the  Bromielaw.  If  it  should  sweep  away  a 
good  deal  of  the  two-legged  street  refuse,  no  great  harm  woLdd  be  done." 

Want  of  time  prevented  Mr.  Mackenzie  from  accepting  fur- 
ther courtesies,  with  their  attendant  public  addresses,  in  Scot- 
land and  in  England,  and  for  this  reason  ho  particularly 
regretted  being  compelled  to  decline  a  lunchoon  from  the  Lord 
Pruvost,  Magistrates  and  Council  of  Glasgow,  and  an  invita- 
tion to  meet  the  Chamber  of  Commerce  of  Manchester,  Tlie 
Scottish  papers  were  full  of  his  visit.  On  his  return  to 
Ottawa,  a  right  royal  reception  awaited  him,  and  a  cordial 
"  welcome  home,"  as  the  inscription  on  the  arch  at  the  railway 
station  truthfully  assured  him,  awaited  him.     People  for  once 


[Notes  like  these,  written  on  the  back  of  a  fool-icap  envelope,  or  on  any  oth'-r 
scrai)  of  paper  reaclily  at  hand,  were  all  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  usually  propareil  for 
hlH  lon(,'e.st  Hiieeches.  | 


/^ 


^^n^uti^u.^ 


^^o^^^>^' 


^'2^_ 


jL.://c  .^^^/^^^ 


mm 


[XoteHlik-  these,  written  on  the  back  of  a  foolscap  envelope,  or  on  any  otlim- 
scrap  of  pa  er  icadiiv  at  hand,  were  all  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  usually  prepared  for 
his  longest  HpeechtM.J 


CA^o^-^ 


4^     ^^^  7^^    ^^t^ 


I 

! 
1 

) 

IT 


I 


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i 

t 

416 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


merged   their  politics,   and  all   parties  and  classes  united  in 
expressions  towards  him  of  praise  and  good  will. 

During  Mr.  Mackenzie's  tour  in  Scotland,  the  Governor-Gen- 
eral was  in  England  and  Ireland.  In  a  letter  from  His  Excel- 
lency, July  26,  1875,  inviting  the  Prime  Minister  to  Clande- 
boye,  the  Earl  of  Dufferin  paid  a  tribute  to  him  for  the  ad- 
mirable a'idress  he  was  then  delivering.  "  You  must  have  no 
misgivings  about  your  speeches.  They  are  really  excellent — 
sober,  spirited  and  practical,  and  full  of  earnestness  and  dig- 
nity. If  you  speak  like  tliat  without  preparation,  it  only 
shows  how  much  you  could  do  in  that  line  if  you  could  find 
time  to  do  what  I  imagine  all  good  speakers  have  found  it 
necessary  to  do." 

Mr.  Brown  was  in  Scotland  when  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  there. 
Writing  to  Mr.  Mackenzie  from  Edinburgh,  Mr.  Brown  made 
complaint  of  one  of  the  speeches  by  which  Mr.  Mackenzie 
had  been  greeted,  wherein  reference  was  made  to  Mr.  Macken- 
zie's early  position.  Mr.  Brown  asked,  what  ha<l  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie's entertainer  to  do  witli  that  ?  "  Suffice  it,"  he  went 
on  to  say,  "  that  you  are  the  first  man  in  3^our  own  countr}'-, 
and  ruler  over  half  a  continent.  Fancy  how  insulting  it 
would  be  were  the  foremost  statesman  of  France,  or  Russia, 
or  Germany  to  be  met  on  a  visit  to  England  with  such  sulj- 
jects  of  laudation,  or  what  would  be  thought  of  you  or  me  in 
Canada  were  we  to  welcome  some  great  man  from  Enyland, 
Scotland,  or  Ireland  with  patronising  references  ?  We  would 
be  condemned  by  the  good  taste  and  good  feeling  of  ninu- 
tenths  of  the  people  of  Canada.  True,  neither  you  nor  I 
have  any  other  feeling  in  our  composition  but  tliat  of  pride 
of  our  origin,  our  education  and  our  whole  career,  but  \\\\v\\ 
we  have,  as  Canadian  statesmen,  to  meet  English  and  foreign 


VISIT  TO  SCOTLAND  IN  1875. 


417 


tesmen  who  have  feelings  on  these  matters  so  different 
from  ours,  and  when  we  come  to  England  asking  no  favors  or 
popular  applause,  it  not  only  seems  the  height  of  rudeness  to 
keep  dragging  up  such  matters,  but,  what  is  worse,  it  is 
directly  calculated  to  affect  our  relations  with  the  men  whom 
we  encounter  in  high  political  matters." 


4i 


CH.\PTER  XXVIII. 

THE   NATIONAL   POLICY   FIRST   iJISCUSSED. 

Questions  of  Trade  Occupy  the  House — Industrial  Depression — Committee 
Appointed  for  Investigation — Mr.  Cartwright's  Budget  Speech — Dr.  Tap- 
per's Reply — The  National  Policy — The  Steel  Rail  Transaction — Election  in 
South  Ontario. 


|V:. 


jITH  the  session  of  1876  opened  the  discussion  on 
the  subject  of  Protection,  which  has  occupied  so 
much  of  the  attention  of  Parliament  and  the 
,4t^^^''^  country  from  that  day  till  now.  In  his  speech 
on  the  opening  of  the  House,  His  Excellency  referred 
"  to  the  great  depression  which  prevailed  throughout 
the  neighboring  countries  for  several  years,  and  which  has 
more  recently  been  felt  in  the  old  world,  causing  a  general 
stagnation  of  business.  This  depression  had  now  extended 
to  Canada,  and  seriously  affected  its  trade." 

There  was  great  difference  of  opinion  as  to  the  cause  of  the 
depression.  Even  those  engaged  in  industrial  pursuits,  who 
came  frequently  in  contact  with  business  men  from  other 
countries,  were  unsettled  as  to  the  real  source  of  the  commer- 
cial difBculties  in  which  the  whole  country  seemed  to  be  in- 
volved. 

As  soon  OS  the  address  was  passed,  Mr.  Mills  proposed  that 
a  committee  should  be  appointed  "  to  enquire  into  the  causes 
of  the  present  iinancial  diflicultics,"  with  power  to  take  evi- 
dence and  conduct  such  an  examination  of  the  whole  question 

418 


iHini 


II 


THE  NATIONAL  POLICY  FIRST  DISCUSSED. 


419 


ill 


'.sfcion 


us  would  be  useful  to  the  House  in  determining  what  remedies 
to  apply.  This  resolutioTi  gave  rise  to  the  first  discussion 
which  took  place  in  the  House  of  Commons  involving  an  ex- 
pression of  opinion  in  favor  of  Protection  or  Free  Trade 

Following  the  wise  example  of  the  mother  country,  the 
fiscal  policy  of  Canada,  though  not  absolutely  free  trade,  was 
regulated  on  free  trade  theories,  and  whether  the  tariff  was 
increased  or  adjusted,  it  was  always  for  the  purpose  of  raising 
a  revenue,  the  protection  which  it  allcrded  being  purely  inci- 
dental. 

The  alleged  prosperity  in  the  United  States  under  a  high 
tariU",  and  the  facilities  which  a  low  tarifi"  in  Canada  attbrded 
for  the  admission  of  American  goods  into  the  Canadian 
market,  aroused  the  jealousy  of  the  manufacturers  of  the 
Dominion,  and  this,  coupled  with  financial  stringency  of  an 
unusual  character,  led  many  to  look  fur  a  remedy  for  present 
giievances  in  the  theories  of  the  Protectionist.  The  question 
was  a  new  one  to  the  House,  it  was  a  large  tpiestion  on  which 
a  great  deal  could  be  said,  it  was  a  practical  question  on  which 
the  opinions  of  experts  would  be  invaluable,  and  Mr.  Mills 
believed  that  a«  it  was  lorcing  itself  on  pubhc  attention,  it 
could  not  be  intelligently  discussed  without  more  information 
than  was  then  available. 

At  the  request  of  several  members,  the  original  scope  of 
the  connnittee  v."is  very  nuich  enlarged,  the  resolution  finally 
adopted  being  us  follows — Resolved:  "That  a  select  com- 
mittee composed  (jf  Messi's.  iJuby,  Uurpee  (Sunbury),  Car- 
michuel,  McDougall  (Renfrew),  Charlton,  Delorme,  Dymond, 
Piatt,  Sinclair,  Workman  and  Mills  be  appointed  to  enquire 
into  tiie  cause  of  the  present  depression  of  the  manufactaring, 
mining,  commercial,  shipping,  hnnber  and  tishing  interests, 
with  power  to  send  for  persons,  [)upeis  and  records." 


■H 

M 

1  . 

420 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


11  '' 


The  investigation  occupied  the  attention  of  the  committee 
during  the  greater  part  of  the  session,  and  a  great  deal  of  valu- 
able evidence  was  obtained  with  regard  to  all  the  industries 
of  the  country.  As  to  the  fact  of  a  depression,  there  seemed 
to  be  no  doubt.  The  causes,  in  the  opinion  of  the  committee, 
were  beyond  the  legislative  control  of  Parliament. 

No  sooner  was  Mr.  Mills'  committee  granted  by  the  House, 
than  the  special  necessities  of  the  mining  interests  of  the 
country  were  brought  up  for  discussion.  The  Maritime  Pro- 
vinces had  their  coal-fields,  which  had  been  a  source  of  wealth 
to  their  owners  and  of  employment  to  thousands  of  people 
for  many  years.  The  United  States  was  their  natural  market. 
In  that  market  they  were  confronted  with  a  duty  of  seventy- 
five  cents  a  ton,  while  American  coal  was  admitted  to  the 
Canadian  market  free.  The  demand  from  Nova  Scotia,  that 
American  coal  should  be  excluded,  in  order  that  they  might 
supply  the  Canadian  market,  at  least  as  far  west  as  Toronto, 
might  cost  the  people  of  Ontario  something,  but  then,  they 
said,  it  would  be  encouraging  inter-provincial  trade,  binding 
the  diti'erent  Provinces  together,  and  giving  employment  to 
poo])le  who  were  dependent  on  this  industry  for  a  livelihood. 

The  budget  speech  by  Mr.  Cart w right  was  an  able  review 
of  the  financial  situation,  and  for  the  first  time  the  Minister 
of  Finance  entered  very  fully  into  a  defence  of  the  trade 
jiolicy  of  the  Government.  He  pointed  out  fhat  tlie  depres- 
sion complained  of  was  all  but  universal ;  that  it  prevailed  in 
the  United  States,  with  a  high  protection  tariff;  in  continental 
countries,  irrespective  of  a  tarifi'.  Even  England,  with  a 
commerce  that  extended  over  the  whole  world,  felt  the  efi'ects 
of  this  depression.  The  trouble,  therefore,  could  not  be  in 
the  taritK  He  pointed  out  that  Protection  led  to  the  forma- 
tion of  rings  and  combines,  the  creation   of  colossal  fortunes 


■i 


\Pi 


THE  XATWXAL  POLICY  FIRST  DISCUSSED. 


421 


which  could  be  used,  and  no  doubt  were  used,  to  keep  the 
means  in  operation  by  wliich  they  were  acquired.  He 
pointed  out  that  the  agricultural  industry,  on  which  so  much 
depended,  was  one  the  tarifi*  could  not  reach,  and  therefore, 
that  at  best,  it  would  be  but  a  means  of  extracting  money 
from  one  class  of  the  community  in  order  to  enrich  the  other. 
The  case  for  the  Protectionists  was  put  by  Dr.  Tupper  in 
reply  to  the  budget  speech.  He  declined  to  admit  that  mat- 
ters of  trade  and  commerce  are  beyond  the  control  of  the 
Government.  "  That  the  country  may  prosper  or  sink  into 
decay,  and  that  the  Government  is  helpless  to  promote  the  one 
or  avert  the  other,  is  a  principle  to  which  I  cannot  give  my 
concurrence."  He  blamed  the  Government  for  the  depression 
which  existed,  and  demanded  that  immediate  action  should 
be  taken  to  avert  impending  financial  ruin.  "  What  Canada 
wants,"  he  said,  "  is  a  National  Policy — a  policy  that  shall  bo 
in  the  interests  of  Canada,  apart  from  the  principles  of  Free 
Trade,  apart  from  the  principles  of  Protection."  In  the  course 
of  his  speech,  Dr.  Tupper  charged  Mr.  Mackenzie  with  incon- 
sistency as  a  Free  Trader,  because  he  increased  the  taritf  from 
15  to  17§  per  cent.  He  also  charged  him  with  being  a  Pro- 
tectionist in  one  part  of  the  country  and  a  Free  Trader  in 
another,  and  quoted  from  Mr.  Mackenzie's  speeches  to  support 
this  view.  Mr.  Mackenzie  was  not  long,  however,  in  exposing 
Dr.  Tuppcr's  unfairness,  as  the  moment  he  sat  down  he  gave 
the  Hou.se  the  correct  reading  of  what  he  had  stated.  He 
expressed  himself  emphaticallj''  a  Free  Trader  still,  so  far 
as  the  circumstances  of  the  country  would  allow.  "I  say, 
frankly,  I  would  inaugurate  at  once  a  Free  Trade  policy  if 
the  circumstances  of  the  country  and  the  position  of  our 
manufacturers  would  admit  of  it,  because  I  believe  that 
a   free   iuterchange  of  thought   and  of    commodities   is  the 


422 


LIFE  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


\i 


ij 


'■t 


A 


4 


true  means  of  enricliing  a  country  or  making  a  people  great ; 
while  tlie  sj^stem  of  Protection,  as  it  exists  in  the  United 
States,  is  altogether  evil.  But  as  we  have  a  boundary  co-ter- 
minus with  the  United  States  for  thousands  of  miles,  it  is 
utterly  impossible  to  adopt  a  fiscal  policy  for  this  country 
without  reference  to  what  is  passing  in  that  country.  As 
Canadian  statesmen,  we  should  endeavor  to  legislate  in  the 
interests  of  our  own  people,  irrespective  of  any  foreign  views 
or  influences." 

The  debate  continued,  with  occasional  interruptions  for  other 
business,  from  the  26th  of  February  till  the  16th  of  March, 
and  called  forth  many  able  speeches  on  both  sides  of  the 
House.  Mr.  Irving,  of  Hamilton,  moved  a  resolution  :  "  That  a 
rate  of  not  less  than  ten  per  cent,  should  be  added  to  the  exist- 
ing importation  tarifT  against  sucli  articles  of  foreign  manufac- 
ture of  wliich  the  same  classes  are  manufactured  in  the  Dom- 
inion." Mr.  Workman,  of  Montreal,  called  for  protection  to 
all  our  manufacturing  industries,  in  order  to  restore  tliem  to  a 
condition  of  prosperity. 

On  the  16th  of  March,  Sir  John  Macdonald  gave  notice  of 
the  resolution,  which  came  to  a  vote  on  the  15th,  and  which 
was  the  first  form  in  which  was  presented  to  the  House  the 
famous  National  Policy  of  the  Conservative  party.  Resolved. 
"  That  tliis  House  regrets  that  His  Excellency  the  Governor- 
General  has  not  been  advised  to  recommend  to  Parliament  a 
measure  for  the  re-adjustment  of  the  tarifi"  which  will  not 
only  tend  to  alleviate  the  stagnation  of  business  deplored  in 
tlie  speech  from  the  throne,  but  also  afibrd  encouragement 
and  protection  to  the  struggling  manufacturers  and  industries, 
as  well  as  to  the  agricultural  productions  of  the  country." 

The  division  of  parties  in  the  House  ou  Sir  John  Mac- 
donald's  motion  was  70  to  116. 


lilt : 

Bted 

Iter- 

\t  is 

itry 

As 

the 

lews 


THE  NATIONAL  POLICY  FIBST  DISCUSSED. 


423 


Another  phase  was  given  to  the  debate  on  a  motion  asking 
for  a  committee  to  enquire  into  tlie  salt  interests  of  the  coun- 
try, which  was  agreed  to ;  and  at  another  stage  of  the  session, 
a  select  committee  was  appointed  to  consider  the  agricrl*""ral 
interests  of  the  country.  Mr.  Orton,  who  liad  charge  of  the 
resolution,  had  moved  in  a  similar  way  the  previous  session, 
but  after  discussion,  the  motion  was  withdrawn. 

The  Protectionists  had  laid  out  for  themselves  an  ambitious 
campaign,  and  were  working  heroically  to  direct  public 
opinion  towards  the  adoption  of  what  was  to  be  hereafter 
known  as  the  National  Policy.  They  had  a  committee  on  the 
salt  interest  and  on  the  agricultural  interest,  by  which  they 
expected  to  make  considerable  capital.  They  had  appealed  to 
the  cupiditj^  of  the  miners  in  the  discussion  we  have  already 
referred  to.  They  were  pushing  their  case  vigorously  before 
the  committee  on  financial  depression,  of  which  Mr.  Mills  was 
chairman.  The  leader  of  the  Opposition,  Sir  John  Macdonald, 
had  espoused  theii'  cause,  and  was  calling  loudly  for  the  en- 
couragement and  protection  of  the  struggling  industries  of 
the  country.  Appeals  were  made  to  the  working-man  that 
his  wages  would  be  nicreased ;  to  the  farmer,  that  his  produce 
would  command  a  better  price,  because  of  the  home  market  to 
be  provided.  Whenever  a  manufacturer  failed,  or,  laggard  in 
the  race  for  wealth,  fell  behind,  he  was  asked  to  support  the 
Conservative  party,  and  all  his  troubles  would  be  at  an  end. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  and  his  colleagues,  confident  in  the  sound- 
ness and  honesty  of  their  policy,  looked  upon  the  agitation  in 
favor  of  Protection  with  apparent  indiflerence.  They  could 
not  believe  that  Canada,  so  thoroughly  indoctrinated  ^vith 
Free  Trade,  would  be  beguiled  into  the  adoption  of  a  Protec- 
tionist policy,  and  when  they  met  their  opponents  and  an- 
swered, as  they  believed,  their  arguments,  they  concluded  that 


"TWWP^P*""" 


\l    ■ 


424 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


i    .:-i 


the  virus  of  such  a  policy  was  effectually  neutralised.  Mr. 
Mackenzie's  friends,  particularly  since  his  defeat,  have  made 
complaint  against  the  course  pursued  in  187G  on  two  grounds. 
First,  they  complain  that  he  under-estimated  the  strength  of 
the  movement  in  favor  of  Protection  then  inaugurated,  aid 
followed  up  during  the  next  two  years  with  so  much  energy. 
Such  a  complaint  is,  to  say  the  least  of  it,  exceedingly  unrea- 
sonable. Mr.  Mackeiizie  had  no  means  at  that  time  of  asce)"- 
taining  public  opinion  excepting  through  the  members  of  Pa)-- 
liament  and  the  public  press.  As  to  the  former,  who  were  his 
supporters,  they  were  all  but  unanimous  in  believing  that  he 
was  pursuing  the  riglit  coui'se  in  resisting  Protection.  Every 
time  the  question  came  up  in  the  House  the  weight  of  argu- 
ment appeared  to  be  on  the  side  of  Free  Trade,  and  the  convic- 
tion that  this  view  would  be  sustained  by  the  country  was 
strongly  the  conviction  of  every  supporter  of  the  Govern- 
ment, JUS  it  was  ol"  Mr.  Mackenzie  himself. 

Second,  it  has  been  said  that  if  he  had  agreed  to  an  increase 
of  the  tariff'  from  I7i  to  20  per  cent,  the  manufacturers 
would  not  have  supported  the  agitation  in  favor  of  Protection, 
and  that  without  their  support  Sir  John  Macdonald  would  not 
have  cari'ied  the  country.  As  to  this  complaint,  several  obser- 
vations must  be  made. 

When  the  Maritime  Provinces  entered  Confederation,  they 
found  themselves  subjected  to  a  much  higher  rate  of  duty 
than  they  were  previously  accustomed  to,  and,  altliough  not 
demonstrative  in  their  opposition  to  the  increase  made  by 
Mr.  Mackenzie,  it  was  generally  considered  that  an  advance  on 
that  increase  would  be  very  unpopular  and  perhaps  irritating. 
To  create  discontent  because  of  high  duties  would  have  weak- 
ened the  Government,  and  this  was  undesirable. 

Again,  it  is  to  be  remembered  that  what  the  manufacturers 


THE  NATIONAL  POLICY  FIRST  DISCUSSED. 


425 


demanded  was  not  a  horizontal  increase  in  the  tariff,  but  a 
differential  increase  on  the  basis  of  the  American  tariff  Of 
course  20  per  cent,  from  their  standpoint  would  be  better  than 
17|,  but  40  or  50  would  be  better  still,  and  as  the  Conserva- 
tive party  had  accepted  the  American  theory  of  Protection, 
the  manufacturers  were  confident  that  they  would  carry  it 
into  practice. 

For  Mr.  Mackenzie  to  agree  to  an  advance  in  the  tariff  for 
purposes  of  Protection  would  be  to  deny  the  professions  of  a 
life-time.  So  long  as  the  revenue  required  a  high  rate  of 
duty  in  order  to  balance  the  Dominion  expenditure,  there  was 
no  abnegation  of  principle,  but  the  moment  an  advance  was 
made  beyond  the  necessities  of  the  revenue,  either  for  actual 
or  incidental  Protection,  then  the  doctrine  of  Free  Trade,  of 
which  he  was  such  a  sturdy  champion,  would  have  been  cast 
to  the  winds,  and  he  would  stand  condemned  before  the  world 
for  his  recreancy  of  principle.  That  position  he  was  not  pre- 
pared to  take  on  principle,  and  principle  he  was  not  prepared 
to  sacrifice  for  party  exigencies. 

Speaking  on  this  same  topic  in  1885,  nine  years  later,  he 
said :  "  I  have  been  told  repeatedly,  sometimes  by  friends,  or 
by  people  who  were  more  or  less  friendly,  that  I  committed  a 
gn  at  mistake  in  1878  in  adhering  too  rigidly  to  ray  prin- 
ciples— that  if  I  had  adopted  another  course  I  could  have 
kept  the  Reform  party  in  power  a  few  years  longer.  Such  is 
not  the  feeling  under  which  I  conduct  mj^self  in  public  life. 
My  notion  of  the  duty  of  a  public  man  is  that  he  should 
niaintain  sound  principles,  advocate  them  honestly,  and  trust 
to  such  principles  working  out  a  right  solution.  The  Con- 
servatives have  had  a  lease  of  power,  but  they  have  had  it  by 
means  which  no  honest  man  can  justify." 

On  the  31st  of  March,  Mr.  Bowell  placed  in  the  hands  of  the 


il 


42G 


LIFB  OF  THE  TTON.  ALEXAXDER  MAGKB}^ZIE. 


Speaker,  on  going  into  Counnittee  of  Supply,  the  following 
motion : 

Resolved,  "  That  the  purchase  by  the  Government  of  50,000 
tons  of  steel  rails,  without  the  previous  consent  of  Parliament, 
was  an  unconstitutional  exercise  of  the  executive  power,  and 
that  such  purchase  was  premature  and  unwise  and  has  caused 
great  pecuniary  loss  to  the  country." 

The  resolution  was  supported  by  a  long  speech  from  Mr. 
Bo  well,  in  which  he  tried  to  fasten  on  the  Government  the 
charge  of  exceeding  their  power  as  an  executive  in  expend- 
ing nearly  §3,000,000  for  the  purchase  of  steel  rails  for  tlie 
Canadian  Pacific  Railway,  and  also  the  charge  that  the  rails 
were  purchased  in  a  falling  market,  and  therefore  at  a  loss  to 
the  country,  and  that  Mr.  Mackenzie's  brother  Charles  was  a 
partner  in  the  firm  to  which  the  contract  was  finally  awarded, 
and,  as  a  conseqiience,  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  a  personal  motive 
in  the  transaction. 

In  his  speech  in  reply,  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  no  difficult^''  in 
shewing  that  the  purchase  of  steel  rails  was  a  purely  business 
transaction,  advised  in  the  first  instance  by  the  chief  engineer, 
and  carried  out  in  perfect  good  faith.  In  a  memorandum  to 
the  Government  dated  March  24th,  1876,  the  chief  engineer, 
Mr.  Sandford  Fleming,  said  :  "  During  the  summer  of  1874, 
advices  from  England  shewed  a  great  decline  in  the  price  of 
steel  rails.  It  was  generally  considered  that  they  had  all  but 
reached  the  lowest  rate,  and  that  an  excellent  opportunity 
presented  itself  of  providing  a  quantity  of  rails  at  lower 
prices  than  that  for  which,  in  all  probability,  they  could  be 
obtained  at  any  future  period."  Early  in  August,  1874,  the 
chief  engineer  mentioned  the  matter  to  Mr.  Mackenzie  and 
advised  that  steps  should  be  taken  to  secure  such  quantity 
as  miffht  be  deemed  necessary. 


m 


THE  XA  TIONAL  POLICY  FIRST  DISCUSSED. 


427 


, »,. 


Notices  calling  for  tenders  were  given  in  the  usual  way,  and 
the  lowest  were  accepted. 

In  Vjuilding  railways  a  degree  of  foresight  is  indispensable. 
This  is  especially  the  case  in  a  railway  situated  like  the  Pacific 
line.  If  the  purchase  of  the  rails  was  put  off  until  the  road- 
bed was  ready  for  them,  a  much  larger  price  would  almost 
certainly  have  to  be  paid,  not  only  for  the  rails  but  also  for 
the  transportation. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  but  that  the  mode  and  time  of 
purchase  of  the  rails  was  by  all  considered  most  judicious. 
In  the  public  interest  nothing  could  have  been  more  carefully 
considered. 

At  the  time  Mr.  Mackenzie  contracted  for  the  purchase  in 
question  he  was  being  severely  pressed  by  the  British  Col- 
umbians for  the  early  completion  of  the  Canadian  Pacific  Rail- 
way. The  surveyors  were  at  work  locating  the  western  sec- 
tion of  the  road,  in  the  expectation  that  a  certain  portion  of 
it  could  be  placed  under  contract  at  once. 

Mr.  Alackenzie  pointed  out  that  the  purchase  of  rails  was 
necessary,  that  what  would  not  be  required  in  British  Col- 
umbia would  be  required  on  the  eastern  section  of  the  road, 
as  the  grading  on  part  of  it  had  already  advanced  so  far  as  to 
be  ready  for  the  laying  of  the  rails. 

So  satisfactory  were  his  explanations  that  Sir  Charles  Tup- 
per,  whose  observations  were  not  usually  too  friendly,  said : 
"  Nor  do  I  intend  to  detain  the  committee  with  any  com- 
ments respecting  the  purchase  of  two  and  a  half  millions 
worth  of  rails.  I  think  the  committee  will  agree  with  me 
that  this  purchase  was  rather  premature,  that  considering 
the  enormous  price  which  iron  went  up  to  not  long  ago,  and 
considering  also  the  fact  that  before  these  rails  are  required 
the  price  of  iron  may  be  reduced,  the  Government  has  not 


428 


LIFt:  OF  THE  HOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


made  so  ^ootl  a  bargain  as  tlioy  would  lead  us  to  suppose, 
although  I  shall  be  willing  to  allow  them  every  latitude  in  a 
case  of  this  kind.  But  that  is  an  accomplished  fact,  and  I 
shall  say  no  more  about  it.  I  have  no  doubt  but  that  the 
Government  were  acting  with  the  utmost  desire  for  the  public 
good,  and  I  am  always  ready  to  give  them  credit  for  good  in- 
tentions when  I  can." 

On  the  c  ^'tutional  phase  of  the  question  there  was  no 
need  for  d  ussion.  Contracts  for  railway  supplies  on  the 
Intercolonial  railway,  and  contracts  for  all  other  supplies  re- 
quired in  the  different  departments  of  the  public  service,  were 
made  over  and  over  again  without  reference  to  Parliament. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  answer  to  the  charge  that  his  brother  was 
interested  in  the  steel  rail  contract  is  fully  contained  in  a 
speech  delivered  at  Unionville  on  the  3rd  of  July,  1878 : 

"  It  was  insinuated  that  I  had  let  the  contracts  to  favorites, 
that  a  brother  of  mine  was  interested  in  one  of  them.  I  might 
let  such  an  insinuation  go  for  what  it  is  worth.  I  have  lived 
thirty  ye  n  my  own  county,  and,  whatever  may  be  said  of 
my  politica.  ^jinions,  there  are  not  twelve  men  in  that  coun- 
ty who  would  suspect  me  of  moral  wrong.  And  I  hope  the 
people  of  Ontario,  before  whom  I  have  stood  for  sixteen  years 
in  Parliament,  will  not  readily  believe  that  I  could  be  guilty 
of  political  wrong  intentionally.  As  I  said,  I  might  have 
passed  that  insinuation  over,  but  I  prefer  to  meet  it  directly, 
and  state  that  no  brother  or  other  relative  of  mine  received, 
directly  or  indirectly,  nearly  or  remotely,  in  any  kind  of  way, 
good,  bad  or  indiU'erent,  a  single  cent  of  profit  in  that  or  any 
other  transaction.  While  I  characterised  this  as  a  base  false- 
hood, as  I  do  now,  I  said  that  my  brother  or  any  relative  of 
any  member  of  the  Government  has  a  perfect  right  to  be  a 
contractor,  provided  there  was  nothing  wrong  in  the  issue 


THE  NATIONAL  rOfJCY  FIRST  DISCUSSED. 


429 


of  the  contract.  But  the  entire  story  wns  made  out  of  whok- 
cloth ;  there  was  not  a  particle  of  truth  in  it.  A  firm  in 
Montxcal,  in  which  my  brother  was  at  one  time  a  sleeping 
partner,  were  agents  of  one  of  the  firms  in  England  who  were 
tendering ;  but  my  brother  withdrew  from  the  firm  rather  than 
have  the  slightest  doubt  cast  upon  my  position  in  the  matter. 
Supposing  he  had  been  a  member  of  the  firm  who  acted  as 
agents  for  the  English  firm,  it  does  not  follow  that  there  was 
any  wrong-doing ;  but  as  it  is,  there  never  was  >\  more  shame- 
lessly untrue  accusation  brought  against  a  public  man  in  this 
country. 

"  And  why  do  they  not  proceed  to  the  proof  if  there  is  any 
thing  wrong  ?  Why  do  they  not  take  a  committee  and  in- 
vestigate the  matter  ?  I  ofiered  them  a  committee  for  two 
years  in  Parliament,  so  that  they  might  call  their  witnesses 
and  put  them  on  oath,  and  so  ascertain  whau  foundation  tliere 
was  for  the  story.  The  reason  they  do  not  do  so,  is  because 
that  would  spoil  their  little  game  and  stamp  them  as  a  set  of 
calumniators.  So,  instead  of  coming  forward  boldly  and 
making  a  charge  in  proper  form,  they  go  through  the  country 
saying  to  the  people:  '  Well  things  look  bad ;  he  may  not  be 
guilty,  but  well,  the  thing  has  a  bad  look  about  it' " 

The  following  letter  was  written  by  Mr.  Mackenzie  to  a 
friend  at  the  time  the  charge  respecting  steel  rails  was  made : 


•'  Ottawa,  Oct.  25th,  1875. 

"  My  Dear  Sir,— I  suppose  you  have  read  all  about  the  steel  rail  con- 
spiracy. The  scoundrels  thought  I  was  open  to  attack,  and  did  not 
scruple  to  run  the  risk  of  making  a  charge,  hoping  it  would  acconijjlish 
the  purpose  before  the  lie  could  bo  stopped.  I  resolved  on  a  prompt 
denial  over  my  own  signature,  which  you  no  doubt  saw. 

*•  The  facts  as  they  came  out  have  been  copied  into  most  of  the  papers, 
and  nearly  all  the  papers  have  denounced  the  slander  in  proper  terms.     I 


■'''""" 

430 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


has  chosen   to  keep  a  dead  silence 


notice,  however,  that  the 

about  the  matter. 

*'  As  I  never  write  to  any  newspaper,  friendly  or  unfriendly,  I  have 
not  written  to  this.  I  confess,  however,  I  do  think  they  might  have  said 
something  in  iny  defence,  unless  indeed,  which  is  incredible,  they  think 
I  am  blamabio. 

"I  have  been  very  scrupulous  about  the  use  of  public  moneys  in  small 

as  well  as  great  afliiirs,  and  I  think  this  journal  might  have  supported  me 

when  so  unjustly  assailed. 

"  Yours  faithfully, 

"A.  Mackenzie." 

The  gentleman  to  whom  this  communication  was  addressed 
in  forwarding  it  for  publication,  remarks :  "  You  know  how 
deeply  Mr.  Mackenzie  felt  this  base  aspersion.  I  met  Mr. 
Fairinau,  of  the  firm  of  Cooper,  Fairman  &  Co.,  at  the  Russell 
House,  and  I  remember  his  complaint  that  Mr.  Mackenzie — 
for  what  cause,  he  did  not  know — would  not  sec  him :  abso- 
lutely declined." 

The  reason  why  the  Minister  refused  to  see  Mi*.  Fairman, 
we  may  say,  was  because  it  was  his  habit  not  to  hold  inter- 
course with  contractors.  His  attitude  was  that  of  a  judge 
who  avoids  personal  contact  with  those  upon  whose  cases  he 
is  required  to  decide. 

In  a  letter  dated  the  20th  of  October,  187C,  to  Mr.  Charles 
Mackenzie,  he  wrote : 

"  1  have  given  up  all  hope  of  obtaining  fair  play  from  Opposition  leaders 
and  papers.  I  have  often  detonninod  not  to  notice  some  coarse  false- 
hood, but  have  shortly  af(erward)j  found  it  doing  service  in  a  remote  re- 
gion, and  have  found  also  friends  surprised  that  it  was  not  contradicted. 
The  Tories  were  always  addicted  to  this  villainous  policy  of  shmdoring 
their  opponents,  and,  r^o  doubt,  will  continue  to  do  so." 

In  a  letter  of  a  later  date  he  says: 


i 


THE  NATIONAL  POLICY  FIRST  DISCUSSED. 


431 


"  I  am  waiting  for  a  suitable  chance  to  make  a  rlemancl  on  MacdnnaUl 
about  his  statements  in  his  stump  speeches.  So  far,  they  have  all  been 
[in  Parliament]  as  silent  as  the  grave  on  every  one  of  the  personal  charges. 
I  am  having  complete  statements  made  up  regarding  contracts,  in 
anticipation  of  a  debate  on  this  subject,  which  will  show,  I  am  sure,  won- 
derfully well  for  me.  *  *  *  *  John  A.  and  his  supporters  are,  how- 
ever, bent  on  a  policy  of  detraction  and  slander,  and  it  is  amazing  with 
how  many  an  evil  imi)ression  will  remain,  if  the  lies  are  iillowed  to  run  to 
any  length  unchecked,  and  yet  I  loatlie  touching  such  a  business  This, 
and  my  natural  disinclination  to  deal  in  personal  charges  or  insinuations, 
almost  sicken  me  of  public  life." 

Following  up  this  policy  of  detraction,  to  w^hich  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie here  refers,  certain  newspapers  charo-ed  him  with  ])q- 
ing  interested  in  lands  at  Fort  William,  which  place  was  chosen 
as  the  Lake  Superior  terminus  of  the  railway,  and  also  with 
giving  information  to  his  brother's  firm  in  advance  in  regard 
to  the  increase  of  the  tariff  on  iron  tubing.  An  action  for 
libel,  which  he  brought  against  the  propagators  of  this  slan- 
der, resulted  in  the  amplest  apology  and  the  complete  with- 
drawal ot  the  charges. 

Those  who  were  concerned  in  the  cks^tions  of  1878  will  re- 
member that  the  steel  rail  transaction,  as  it  was  called,  was 
used  by  the  Conservative  party  most  dishonorably  for  the 
]uu'posc  of  discrediting  Mr.  Mackenzie  and  the  Government. 
\^Q  was  in  duty  bound  as  the  head  of  his  department  to  see 
that  no  delays  occurred  in  the  construction  of  the  i-aihvay. 
Why  should  he  not  have  on  hand  a  quantity  ul'  rails  in  order 
that  delay  might  be  avoided  ?  To  purchase  in  a  falling 
market  when  steel  rails  had  dropped  fiom  .S>SO  to  .'ir-jQ  a  Ion, 
itud  while  the  best  advices  that  could  be  obtained  went  to 
show  that  prices  were  more  likely  to  ad\'ance  than  decline, 
was  just  what  any  business  man  W(»uld  lia\e  done.  Had  it 
been  his  <iood  fortune  to  find  himself  w  itii  ."iO.OOO  tons  of  rails 


432 


LIFE  OF  THE  II OX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


on  hand,  the  market  value  of  wliich  had  increased  since  the 
time  of  purchase,  the  transaction  itself  as  to  its  motive  would 
on  that  account  have  been  no  better  and  no  more  business 
like. 

When  Mr.  ]\rackenzie,  through  ffiiling  health,  was  no  longer 
in  active  politics,  his  accusers  did  him  the  justice  of  saying 
that  he  was  an  honest  man.  The  words  of  George  Gilfillan 
apply  admirably  to  him,  as  well  as  to  his  detractors:  "A  good 
character  aspersed  soon  rights  itself  ;  the  dirt  dries  and  disap- 
pears by  a  sure  and  swift  process.  A  bad  character,  defended 
and  deified,  is  often  allowed  to  slip  into  the  Pantheon.  Men 
are  more  interested — and  it  says  something  for  them — in  de- 
fending the  unjustly  assailed,  than  in  pulling  down  the  gi-aven 
images  of  bhe  guilty." 

Owing  to  the  death  of  the  Hon.  Malcolm  Cameron,  a 
vacancy  was  created  in  the  representation  of  the  south  riding 
of  Ontario,  and  both  parties  threw  themselves  vigo)'ously  into 
the  contest. 

In  the  course  of  tlie  election,  the  Conservatives  called  Dr. 
Tupper  to  the  rescue  of  the  party,  and  Mr.  Mackenzie  with  his 
usual  readiness  responded  to  the  earnest  request  of  his  friends 
to  address  the  electors.  The  meeting  between  these  two 
champions  of  their  respective  views,  at  the  town  of  Whitby, 
is  thus  graphically  described  in  a<  conuuun;"utiou  to  a  leading 
jiuper : 


"There  was  a  vast  audience  fairly  cUvulecl  in  ih<«  ]v>litioal  fiympatln'os. 
Dr.  Tupper  was  then  but  little  known  in  Ontario,  lie  had  a  yreat  lepu- 
tation  as  a  stump  speaker  in  Nova  Scotia.  Ho  Avas  in  the  prime  of  life 
and  vigiU'.  He  Iiad  to  meet  the  high  expoctalions  of  a  campaign  moot- 
ing. Lie  was  inspired  by  tlie  recollections  of  a  partial  triunii)h  over  Mr. 
Huntington  at  Oshawa  on  the  ])reviou8  night.  Whiitever  opinidns  one 
may  entertain  as  to  the  merits  of  the  Conservative  progranuue,  there  can 


r: 


r 


THE  NATIONAL  POLICY  FIRST  DISCUSSED. 


433 


1)L'  lU)  question  but  that  Sir  John  Mucclonald,  Dr.  Tupper  and  their  asso- 
ciates did  magnificent  fighting  against  the  Mackenzie  Administration. 
On  this  occasion  Mr.  Mackenzie  addressed  a  clear,  powerful,  argumenta- 
tive speech  to  the  great  meeting.  He  roused  his  supporters  to  a  liigli 
pitch  of  enthusiasm,  silenced  eveiy  symptom  of  hostile  criticism  among 
his  opponents,  and  seemed  to  compel  a  unanimous  verdict  for  his  candi- 
date and  his  Government.  Dr.  Tiipjier  followed,  and  by  his  sounding 
volume  of  words,  pliysical  vigor  and  intrepid  assaults  on  the  Liberal 
Premier's  positions,  seemed  not  leas  completely  to  draw  the  meeting  to  his 
side,  and  to  establish  that  dishonesty,  unwisdom  and  reckless  indill'erenco 
to  the  ])ublic  well-being  marked  and  marred  every  act  and  motive  of 
the  Mackenzie  Administration.  lie  even  charged,  with  grim  humor, 
tliat  the  weevil  and  the  potato  bug  had  come  in  with  the  Liberals,  and 
that  the  dry  summer  was  -^.nn  to  Mr.  Mackenzie's  neglect.  These  were 
the  days  when  the  exaltjition  of  the  exodus  and  the  cry  of  hard  times 
were  the  highest  efforts  of  patriotism.  Hardly  had  Dr.  Tupper  spoken 
his  last  word  when  Mr.  Mackenzie  stepped  before  the  chairman,  and 
with  stern  eyes  faced  the  exultai  ■  Conservativts  and  the  downcast  Liber- 
als. He  stood  calm  and  unsmiling  while  a  whirlwind  of  Tory  cheering 
swept  through  the  building.  The  Liberals  answered  feebly  at  first,  then 
with  growing  strength  and  confidence,  and,  as  tlie  Liberal  leader  dropped 
his  oj)ening  sentences,  with  a  rising  enthusiasm  that  soon  grew  into  a 
volume  of  triumphant  shouting.  There  was  a  swift,  almost  a  fierce  vigor 
in  Mr.  Mackenzie's  words.  There  were  teeth  in  every  sentence.  There 
was  a  blow  in  every  utterance.  He  seemed  to  take  Dr,  Tupper's  speech 
and  rend  it  and  throw  the  rags  down  to  his  triumphant  folhnvers. 
Hundreds  of  Liberals  in  the  great  audience  leaped  from  their  seats  in 
positive  delight ;  even  many  Consenatives,  carried  away  by  the  thorough- 
ness of  the  performance,  chuckled  in  a  quiet  way  over  tho  terrible  hog- 
ging administered  to  their  representative,  and  a  frenzy  of  chi  oring  marked 
the  close  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  wonderful  fifteen  minutes'  work." 


BD 


CHAPTER  XXIX. 


AN    IRKSOME   SESSION   OF    PARLIAMENT. 

Clianges  in  the  Cabinet  Since  1873 — Their  Effect  Upon  the  Government — New 
Appointments  Made — Mr.  IJrown  on  Laurier — Extradition — Mr.  Blake's 
Bill — Opening  of  tlie  House  witii  Prayer — Budget  Speech  Again — Protection 
versus  Free  Trade — Tlie  Agricultural  Interests  of  the  Country — Tiie  Pacific 
Railway — Port  Francis  Locks— Mr,  Mackcn.iie's  Defence — Godcrich  Harbor 
— Tlio  Independence  of  Parliament  and  Mr.  Anglin — Mr.  Mills  at  Washing- 
ton    Mr.  Mackenzie's  Sympathy — Two  Interesting  Letters. 

^%  EFORE  entering  upon  the  consideration  of  the  pro- 
ceedings of  1877,  it  may  be  well  to  notice  some 
of  the  changes  made  in  the  Administration  since 
its  formation  in  November,  1873. 
In  1874,  a  vacancy  having  occurred  in  the  Chief 
Justiceship  of  Quebec,  it  was  necessary  that  an  ap- 
pointment should  be  made  at  once.  The  qualification  for  such 
an  office  required  the  selection  of  a  man  of  the  higliest  legal 
standing  available,  and  in  making  the  selection  it  was  but 
natural  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  should  first  look  among  his  friends 
for  a  person  fitted  to  fill  such  an  office. 

The  Hon.  A.  A.  Dorion,  then  Minister  of  Justice,  was  leader 
of  the  bar  of  his  own  province,  and  was,  beyond  doubt,  one  of 
the  ablest  lawyers  in  the  comitry.  Mr.  Mackenzie  at  once 
concluded  to  offer  Mr.  Dorion  the  position.  "  Concerning  Mr, 
Dorion,"  he  said,  in  writing  to  a  friend,  "I  felt  bound  to  make 
him  the  ofi'er  of  the  Chief  Justiceship,  when  I  found  that  the 

state  of  the  courts  rc(|uired  nn  inmiediate  appointment,     lie 

434 


f 


AX  iuksome  session  of  pahliamext. 


435 


had  not  contemplated  leaving  the  Government,  and  mentioned 
a  name  to  me  for  the  vacancy.  I  then  told  him  that  I  had  in- 
tended offering  it  to  him,  and  that,  sorry  as  I  was  to  part  with 
him,  I  thought  the  time  had  come  when  he  should  act  in  his 
own  interest." 

The  removal  of  Mr.  Dorion  from  the  Government  was  a 
great  loss  to  Mr.  Mackenzie,  and  any  leader  less  anxious  to 
maintain  the  high  standing  of  the  court,  before  weakening 
his  cabinet,  as  Mr.  Mackenzie  did  in  this  case,  would  have 
found  some  other  way  of  filling  the  vacancy.  For  twenty 
years,  Mr.  Dorion  was  regarded  as  the  leader  of  tiie  French 
Liberals.  He  had  the  fullest  confidence  of  his  own  i'ollowers 
in  Quebec,  and  was  greatly  admired  and  beloved  as  'vseli,  by 
the  Liberals  of  Ontario.  ^Ir.  Brown  chose  him  for  a  colleague 
when  he  organiseil  his  ill-fated  Government  in  1858,  and  from 
that  day  to  his  retirement  from  the  Cabinet,  Mr.  Dorion  never 
lost  a  friend  or  a  follower. 

We  have  already  referred  to  the  appointment  of  Mr.  D.  A. 
Macdonald,  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Ontario,  in  187o.  Li 
Eastern  Ontario,  Mr.  Macdonald  was  a  tower  of  strength  to 
his  party.  Among  lloman  Catholics,  he  was  regarded  as  a 
leader.  Among  Liberals,  he  was  roganled  as  the  most  uncom- 
promising oppuncnt  of  Tory  misrule.  So  resolute  was  he  in 
defence  of  his  principles,  that  lu'  frei^uently  opposed  his 
brother,  John  Sandfield  Macdonald,  in  his  efibrts  to  settle  the 
political  difierences  t)f  the  country  liy  submitting  to  the  dic- 
tation of  the  ConscrvatiN'e  party. 

The  appointment  of  Mr.  David  Laird,  Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor of  the  North-West  in  J  87(5,  was  a  loss  to  Mr.  Mackeii/cio 
in  the  Maritime  Provinces.  Mr.  Laird  was  a  man  of  wide 
experience  in  public  life,  an  aljle  journalist  and  a  successful 
politician.     As  Premier  of  Prince  Edward  Island,  he  imjiress- 


436 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


\ 


ed  himself  on  that  province,  and  as  a  platFonn  speaker  he 
was  of  great  service  to  the  party.  In  a  letter  addressed  to 
Governor  Laird  at  Battleford,  four  months  after  the  defeat  of 
his  Government,  Mr.  Mackenzie  gives  the  reason  for  making 
this  appointment. 

"  I  was  very  sorry  to  lose  you  when  you  went  to  the  North- 
West,  but  it  was  so  essential  to  the  public  welfare  to  have  a 
fast  friend  and  an  upright  man  in  a  position  of  such  vast 
importance,  that  I  felt  m3^self  compelled  to  submit  to  the  sac- 
rifice." 

Mr.  Laird  replied:  "I  appreciate  your  assurance  that  you 
were  sorry  to  lose  me  as  a  colleague.  Well,  the  truth  is  I 
did  not  want  to  leave  the  Government  at  that  time.  My 
friends,  too,  on  the  Island,  were  opposed  to  my  accepting  the 
new  post,  and  I  was  loth  to  desert  those  with  whom  I  had 
fought  so  many  hai'd  battles.  But  you  urged  me  to  accept, 
and,  like  a  loyal  supporter,  I  yielded,  supposing  that  }'0u, 
somehow,  thought  it  would  be  in  the  interest  of  the  country.' 

Another  loss  to  his  Government  was  the  appointment  of 
Mr.  Letellier  de  St.  Just,  Lieut.-Governor  of  Quebec,  in  Decem- 
ber, ]87G.  Mr.  Letellier  had  been  for  many  years  the  comrade- 
in-arms  of  Mr.  Dorion.  He  was  a  Radical  of  the  Radicals, 
courageous  in  the  defence  of  his  party,  and,  on  account  of  his 
per.sonal  magnetism,  well  calculated  to  be  a  leader  of  men. 

Mr.  Fournier,  who  had  served  with  ability  as  Minister  of 
Justice  and  Postmaster-General,  was  appointed  to  the  Supreme 
Court.  His  retirement  from  the  Government  was  also  a  loss 
to  the  party. 

So  far  as  the  Province  of  Ontario  was  concerned,  fewer 
changes  had  taken  place  in  tlie  personnel  of  the  Government. 
Although  Mr.  Blake  was  sworn  in  as  a  nuMuber  of  the  Privy 
Council  in   1.S7M,  he   had   not  accepted  a  portfolio.     But  his 


lie 


L'th- 


I 


W-  ^^-^c^^^-y^^-^-'-^-r^^ 


(Facsimile  of  Hon.  Echvard  BbiktH  hand-ivriting.) 


438 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


presence  in  the  cabinet  was  regarded  by  his  friends  as  a  fitting 
tribute  to  his  eminent  abilities  and  his  services  to  the  party. 
His  resignation  in  February,  1874,  called  forth  expressions  ol' 
regret  from  all  parts  of  the  Dominion.  Had  his  health  per- 
mitted him  to  accept  office,  and  to  discharge  the  full  duties  of 
a  cabinet  minister,  tliere  is  no  doubt  he  would  have  greatly 
lightened  Mr.  Mackenzie's  cares  in  dealing  with  the  many 
complicated  questions  that  arose  in  the  course  of  his  Adminis- 
tration. Mr.  Blake  became  Minister  of  Justice  in  1875.  His 
retirement  in  1877  was  greatly  felt  by  Mr.  Mackenzie.  Speak- 
ing of  this  matter  in  the  House,  in  reply  to  enquiries  made  by 
Sir  John  Macdonald  with  regard  to  ministerial  changes,  Mr. 
Mackenzie  said : 

"  I  cannot  but  express  my  extreme  regret  that  I  should  be 
compelled  to  part  with  a  colleague  with  whom  I  have  acted 
all  my  political  life,  under  whom  I  once  served  wlien  he  acted 
as  Premier  of  Ontario,  and  who  acted  so  cordially  with  the 

present  Administration,  since  its  advent  to  office 

There  was  no  ditference  in  an}-  matter  of  policy  between  my 
honorable  friend  and  his  colleagues,  and  I  am  quite  sure  that 
the  restoration  of  his  wonted  health  will  give  pleasure  to  al- 
most every  one  in  Canada  ■who  takes  an  interest  in  the  re- 
tention of  men  of  great  ability  and  high  personal  character  in 
the  councils  of  the  country." 

The  appointment  of  Mr.  Cauchon,  Lieutenant-Governor  of 
Manitoba,  was  a  change  in  the  Ciovernment  regretted  by  few. 
^Ir.  Cauchon  was  no  doubt  a  man  of  great  ability  and  per- 
severance. He  was  a  journalist  of  some  distinction,  and  as  a 
pamphleteer  had  rendered  valuable  servic  .  to  the  country  in 
promoting  Confederation  among  his  French  compatriots  in 
Quebec.  But  his  connection  with  the  Beauport  asylum  had 
greatly  weakened   his  inlluence,  and  had  given  the  opponents 


AN  IRKSOME  SKSSIOX  OF  PAIiLIAAIENT. 


439 


of  the  Government  an  opportunity  for  indul;^in<^  in  sun<lry 
disagreeable  taunts  and  jeers. 

The  changes  in  tlie  Government,  however,  were,  in  many 
instances,  compensated  for  by  the  accession  to  the  Cabinet  of 
men  of  marked  ability  and  parliamentary  experience. 

Sunnnarising  these  chancres,  it  may  be  stated  that  the  De- 
partment of  Justice  was,  durino-  the  five  years  of  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie's Administration,  under  four  different  ^linisters,  Messrs. 
])orion,  Fournier,  Blake  and  Lallammc  ;  the  Department  of 
Agricultiire  under  two  Ministers,  Messrs.  Letellier  and  Mr. 
Telletier;  the  Department  of  the  Interior  under  two  Minis- 
ters, Messrs.  Laird  and  Mills ;  the  Department  of  Secretary  of 
State  under  two  Ministers,  Messrs.  Christie  and  Scott;  the 
Department  of  Tostmaster-General  under  tin'ee  Ministers, 
Messrs.  Macdonald,  Fournier  and  Huntington  ;  the  Depart- 
ment of  Inland  Revenue  under  live  ^liuisters,  Messrs.  Four- 
nier, Geoflriun,  Cauchon,  Laliannne  and  Laurler;  the  ^lilitia 
Department  under  three  Ministers,  Alessrs.  Koss,  \'ail  and 
Jones.  The  Presidency  of  the  Priv}'  Council  was  ehannred 
three  times.  Of  the  fourteen  Ministers  who  took  ollice  with 
Ml".  Mackenzie  on  the  17th  of  November,  1878,  onl}'  four  con- 
tinued with  him  to  the  close  of  his  Administration,  namely, 
Messrs.  Cartvvright,  Smitli,  A.  J.,  Collin  and  Scott,  and  only 
three  of  these  retained  the  same  portfolio  during  the  whole 
term. 

The  Department  of  Agriculture,  vacatetl  l)y  tlie  retirement 
of  Mr.  LeteUier,  was  ably  HHed  by  Mr.  PeUetier.  Mr.  La- 
flamme,  as  Minister  of  Justice,  sliowed  himself  a  worthy  suc- 
cessor to  previous  occupants  of  that  ])epartment.  In  the 
Maritime  Provinces,  Mr.  A.  G.  Jones  was  called  to  take  charge 
of  tile  Militia  Department. 

The  Maritime  I'roviuces  have  given   to  Canada  many  men 


440 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKEXZIE. 


of  ^rcat  ability  aud  worth,  but  i'cw  aiiH)n<;-  them  (loscrvo  a 
higher  position  for  their  integrity,  their  breadth  of  mind,  and 
their  sense  of  honor  than  the  Hon.  Alfred  G.  Jones. 

The  choice  made  of  a  successor  to  Mr.  Cauclion  was  pecu- 
liarly happy.     Mr.  Wilfrid  Laurier  had  for  some  time  attract- 


9^^^ 


ed  the  favorable  notice  of  the  Liberals  of  Ontario,  and  was 
rapidly  establishing  himself  in  the  esteem  of  his  fellow-mem- 
bers in  the  House.  Two  years  before  Mr.  Laurier  was  called 
to  the  Government,  Mr.  Brown,  who  had  evidently  been  con- 
sulted with  regard  to  the  filling  of  some  Cabinet  vacancy, 
wrote  to  Mr.  Mackenzie :  "  Should  you  be  led  to  tlie  convic- 
tion that  Lould  not  safely  or  wisely  be  ventured 

upon,  then  I  have  no  doubt  between  the  old,  respectable  gen- 
tleman in  question  and  the  young,  vigorous,  popular  and  elo- 
quent man  of  the  present  moment — Laurier,  I  think,  is  his 
name.  A  new,  fresh  man,  is  more  in  harmony  with  the  spirit 
of  your  Government  than  any  other.  His  elevation  would  bo 
hailed  by  all  his  young  conqjatriots,  and  he  has  no  antece- 
dents to  fetter  his  action.  Of  course,  I  speak  entirely  from 
what  I  have  heard  from  you  and  others  as  to  Lauriei-,  for  I 
have  rot  the  advantage  of  kr<owing  him  personally." 

Mr.  Laurier's  record  since  that  time  fully  justifies  the  esti- 
mate made  of  his  talents  and  character  by  the  great  journalist 
of  Canada. 


AN  IliKSOME  SESSION  OF  PAIILIAMEXT. 


4U 


The  jjortfolio  vucatod  by  Mi*.  Laird  was  accepted  by  Mr. 
David  Mills  in  October,  187G.  Pic  brought  to  his  departmcut 
a  full  knowledge  of  its  duties,  and  a  ripe  judgment  for  tho  con- 
sideration of  such  matters  as  afiected  its  administration.  Mr. 
Mills  was  certainly  a  worthy  ally  of  his  great  leader,  and,  by 
his  diligence  and  energy,  discharged  very  ably  thu  obligations 
of  a  Cabinet  Minister. 

Changes  so  great  and  affecting  so  many  departments,  even 
were  the  new  Ministers  in  every  respect  eipial  to  the  old  or 
oven  superior,  could  not  be  otherwise  than  injurious  to  the 
Government.  The  routine  of  an  ollice  is  not  to  be  learned  in 
a  day,  and  the  habit  of  looking  at  pnblic  questions  with  all 
the  responsibility  of  a  Minister,  cannot  be  assumed  by  sub- 
scribing simply  to  the  oaths  of  office. 

That  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  chosen  his  Ministers  wisely  and 
well,  is  generally  admitted,  having  regard  to  the  fact  tliat  the 
claims  of  the  ditt'erent  provinces  had  to  be  recognised.  But, 
while  no  question  is  raised  as  to  the  selection  under  the  cir- 
cumstances, it  was  quite  apparent  to  those  who  watched  the 
proceedings  of  the  House,  that  some  of  his  Ministers  were  not 
us  ready  to  repel  the  attacks  of  the  Opposition  as  would  be 
desired.  A  Cabinet  of  all  the  talents  is  not  likely  to  be  found 
in  a  new  country.  But  a  Cabinet,  every  member  of  which 
thoroughly  understands  the  working  of  his  own  department, 
and  who  is  able  to  defend  it  wit'i  vigor,  greatly  relieves  a 
^ Prime  Minister  of  care  and  responsibility. 

Had  Mr.  Mackenzie  thrown  more  of  the  responsibilities  of 
administration  u[)on  his  colleagues,  it  is  probable  that  even 
those  who  appeared  to  lack  in  sti'cngth  would  have  been  more 
helpful  than  they  were.  He  had  felt  it  his  duty,  however,  not 
only  to  know  the  details  of  his  own  department,  but  also  the 
course  of  proceeding  in  some  of  the  otljer  departmenty;  and 


i 

i^^^H  i  'i 

1'  ii 

i 

m 

1 

I 


442 


LfFK  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


the  explfinutioris  whicli  devolved  upon  the  Minister  in  eliiir<,^o 
were  often  undertaken  by  the  Prime  Minister.  The  otiect  ot' 
this  upon  the  House  and  the  country  was  unfavorable  to  liis 
Cabinet  as  a  whole,  as  it  deprived  his  Government  of  that 
political  confidence  which  the  well-known  individual  ability  of 
each  Minister  necessarily  produces. 

The  B.  N.  A.  Act  of  180  7  enacted  that  the  Parliament  and 
Government  of  Canada  should  have  all  power  necessary  or 
proper  for  performing  the  oblig-ations  of  Canada,  or  any 
province  thereof,  as  part  of  the  British  Emjjire,  towards 
foreign  countries  under  treaties  between  the  Empire  and  such 
foreign  countries,  l^^y  this  clause  of  the  Confedei-ation  Act 
the  Dominion  Parliament  was  authorised  to  exercise  the 
powers  formerly  exercised  by  the  several  provinces  of  Canada 
with  regard  to  extradition,  and  althougli  there  was  an  Im- 
perial statute  on  the  subject,  the  adoption  by  Canada  of  any 
legislation  with  respect  to  extradition  had  the  effect  of  sus- 
pending, for  the  time  being,  such  Imperial  statute.  As  re- 
spects foreign  countries,  other  than  the  United  States  of 
America,  any  extradition  treaty  which  applied  to  Canada 
came  into  operation  under  an  Imperial  Act.  It  was  claimed 
by  the  Privy  Council  of  Canada  that  this  limitation  of  the 
Dominion  Parliament  was  unreasonable,  and  that  the  pro- 
visions of  all  extradition  treaties  entered  into  by  Great  Brit- 
ain with  foreign  powers  should  be  carried  into  effect  in  Canada 
by  means  of  Canadian  legislation.  In  December,  1875,  the 
Dominion  Government  deputed  Mr.  Blake,  Minister  of  Justice, 
to  confer  with  Her  Majesty's  Government  on  this  point,  and 
especially  to  consider  the  expediency  of  negotiating  a  more 
comprehensive  extradition  treaty.  Owing  to  a  misunder- 
standing between  the  British  and  United  States  Govern- 
ments as  to  the  interpretation  of  the  Ashl)urton  Treaty  (the 


[■ct  of 

to  liis 

that 

lity  of 


IFlP 


f  1 1 


AN  IRKSOME  SESSION  OF  PARLIA  MEXT. 


443 


only  extradition  treaty  applicaLle  to  Canada),  the  treaty 
was  suspended  for  one  year.  The  matter  in  dispute  hav- 
ing been  settled,  the  treaty  was  revived.  The  point  con- 
tended for  by  Great  Britain  in  this  dispute  was  that  the 
treaty  of  1842  contemphited  that  a  person  surrendered  shouM 
not  be  tried  for  any  crime  or  ofiunce  committed  in  the  other 
country  before  the  extradition,  other  than  the  crime  for  which 
the  surrender  had  been  granted.  The  Canadian  Government 
was  most  anxious,  in  the  matter  of  extradition  with  the 
United  States,  at  least,  that  they  should  bo  allowed  the  full 
authority  to  legislate  as  they  might  deeui  expedient,  or  that 
the  sanction  of  the  Imperial  Government  sliould  be  given  to 
such  legislation  as  tl',ey  might  adopt.  In  1877  a  Bill  was 
passed  and  afterwards  approved  by  the  Governor-General, 
making  provision  by  our  Canadian  Jaw  for  the  execution,  as 
respects  Canada,  of  all  arrangenio-nts  made  between  Her 
Majesty  and  foreign  states  for  the  extradition  of  fugitive 
criminals.  Thev  also  submitted  a  joint  address  of  the  Senate 
and  the  House  of  Commons,  asking  Her  Majesty  by  Order-in- 
Council  to  suspend  the  operation  of  Imperial  legislation  on 
this  subject,  in  order  that  thu  Canadian  statute  might  take 
effect.  The  Imperial  Government  declined  to  entei-tain  this 
request,  and,  as  a  consequence  of  this,  the  Canadian  Act  of 
1877,  to  which  tlie  Minister  of  Justice,  Mr.  Blake,  iiad  given 
a  great  deal  of  attention,  still  remains  in  abeyance. 

The  attempt  to  settle  this  important  (juestion  on  lines  more 
comprehensive  and  better  adapted  to  the  prest-nt  relations  of 
Canada  with  the  United  States  than  was  the  Ashburton 
Treaty  of  1842,  shews  the  great  watchfulness  which  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie exercised  over  Canadian  interests.  It  also  shews  his 
desire  that  the  Parliament  of  Canada,  in  all  purely  Canadian 
matters,  should  be  relieved  entirely  from  the  control  of  the 


I 


iij^B.vl'^lJ^ 


444 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  A  LEX  AND  EI!  MACKENZIE. 


lliiii 


fl|l 


Colonial  office.  And  altliough  the  dispute  in  which  the  Im- 
perial Government  became  involved  with  the  United  States 
frustrated  his  attempts,  he  was  able  to  place  upon  the  statute 
book  an  extradition  treaty,  which,  if  allowed  to  go  into  oper- 
ation, v.'ill  be  an  effective  restraint  upon  the  migration  of 
fugitives  from  justice  between  the  tAVO  countries. 

The  scope  of  this  Act  is  juuch  wider  tlian  the  Ashburton 
Treaty.  It  includt.-s  a  number  of  offences  for  which  extradi- 
tion is  at  present  not  allowed,  such  as  "  larceny,  embez/lemeut, 
fi-aud  by  a  banker,  agent,  factor  or  trustee,  or  by  a  director  or 
member  or  officer  ot'  any  company,  when  such  fraud  is  crim- 
inal by  any  Act  for  the  time  being  in  force,"  and  many  other 
offences  of  a  similar  character.  It  is  to  be  hoped  that  a  treaty 
allowing  extradition  for  such  offences  as  arc  herein  meiitioneil 
will  come  into  efieet  at  an  early  day.  Canada  should  not  be 
made  the  camping  ground  ol"'  end)e/,/lers  and  defaulting  cash- 
iers, or  run-away  treasurers  of  large  (o;'|>orations  in  the 
United  States.  The  facility  of  transportation  between  the  two 
countries  is  no  doubt  often  counted  upon  by  those  wlio  medi- 
tate the  appropriation  to  thirl r  own  use  of  moneys  coming  into 
their  possession  by  virtue  of  their  ofiice.  To  allow  such  per- 
sons to  escape  the  punishment  they  daserve  by  law,  or  per- 
haps, more  cori-ectly  speaking,  by  the  absence  of  law,  is  to 
place  a  premium  upon  dishonesty. 

On  motion  by  i\Ir.  John  Macdonidd,  of  Toronto,  the  House 
was  asked  to  consider  the  propriety  of  opening  its  proceedings 
by  prayer,  as  was  done  in  the  Senate,  and  for  that  purpo.se 
either  to  appoint  a  ch;i])lain  or  iri  the  absence  of  the  chaplain 
that  prayers  should  l»e  read  by  the  Clerk  of  the  House.  Mr. 
Macdonald  pointed  t)ut  tiiat  a  form  of  ])rayer  agreed  upon  iiy 
the  Ivoman  Cath(»lic  bishop  of  (.Quebec  and  the  Protestant 
rector  was  used   in   the  oj)ening  of  the  Council  of  that  pro- 


House 


iccdiiigs 


I  111" pose 

i:i[)!iua 

'.     -Mr. 

l[n)]\  liy 

)test<iiit 

lut  |il'()- 


AX  IRKSOME  SUSSION  OF  PAIiUAMEXT. 


445 


vince,  from  1792  down  to  1841,  and  that  from  1841  till  18GG, 
the  form  now  used  in  the  Senate  prevailed.  In  Upper  Canada 
the  proceedings  of  the  Legishitive  Council  were  opened  by 
prayer,  for  many  years,  by  a  chaplain  of  the  Church  of  Eng- 
land appointed  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor,  and  subsequently 
by  the  ministers  of  the  town  of  York.  After  some  observations 
from  both  sides  of  the  House,  a  committee  was  appointed  and 
a  report  agreed  upon  to  the  effect,  that  prayers  should  i  >e  read 
by  the  Speaker  of  the  House  in  the  language  most  familiar  to 
him,  and  that  members  should  stand  during  sucli  service.  Out 
of  deference  to  the  Fj-ench-speaking  meuiljers  of  the  House,  the 
practice  has  been  established  of  reading  the  prayers  in  French 
and  in  English  on  alternate  days. 

The  budget  speech,  as  in  the  session  of  187G,  was  the  signal 
for  a  lonir  discussion  of  the  linancial  condition  of  the  countrv, 
and  ])articularly  of  the  remedy  which,  in  tlie  opinion  of  the 
Conservative  party,  should  be  applied  to  the  financial  strin- 
gency which  for  several  yeai's  existed.  To  begin  with,  there 
was  a  deficit  of  $1,980,000,  with  very  large  obligations  in 
connection  with  the  ])ublic  woi-ks,  requiring  innnediate  atten- 
tion. The  revenue  was  not  showing  much  evidence  of  buoy- 
ancy, notwithstanding  the  increase  in  the  duties,  and  the  ()p- 
})osition  made  the  most  of  tliese  circumstances.  Dr.  Tup]»er, 
as  in  the  previous  stission,  played  the  part  of  linancial  critic, 
and  in  a  speech  nearly  three  hours  in  length  dealt  with  the 
alleged  extravagance  of  the  Government  and  their  inaitility 
loflnd  a  remedy  for  the  connnercial  depression  of  the  country. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  replied  to  Ur.  Tui)pei',  defending  the  policy 
of  the  Government,  and  ri<liculing  the  National  Policy  as  a 
remedy  for  its  financial  troubles: 

"  The  prosperity  of  the  country  dtjpends  on  the  industry  of 
its  people.     It  does  not  depend  upon  party  claquers  or  ujton 


446 


LIFE  OF  THE  110 X.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


polilical  nostruiiis,  but  it  depends  upon  the  industrial  power 
of  the  people ;  and  the  day  will  never  come  when  either  the 
honorable  gentleman  or  I  will  bo  missed  when  we  take  our 
departure  from  these  legislative  halls,  because  other  me\will 
rise  in  our  places  and  the  country  will  go  on,  never  heedijig 
the  time  when  a  Tapper  pronounced  as  the  sole  remedy  for 
the  ills  of  Canada  the  imposition  of  a  duty  on  sugar  and  coal. 
John  Bright  said  in  a  very  recent  speech  that  he  could  not 
compare  the  absurdities  of  some  people  who  waited  on  him 
desiring  protection,  to  anything  except  a  person  who  had  got 
a  box  on  the  right  ear,  and  turned  round  desiring  a  corres- 
ponding one  on  the  other  ear.  And  this  is  the  sole  remedy  of 
these  honorable  gentlemen  for  the  sorrows  of  the  country,  the 
sole  remedy  for  a  depressed  people  and  for  depressed  indus- 
tries. Their  sole  remedy  is  to  tax  the  people  more;  make  the 
people  pay  more,  say  these  honorable  gentlemen,  and  that  will 
sui'ely  bring  a  general  era  of  |)rosperity." 

The  debate  on  the  budget  speech  followed  very  nearly  the 
same  lines  as  the  debate  of  the  previous  session.  The  oppon- 
ents of  the  Government  were  as  lou<l  in  their  praises  of  pro- 
tection as  they  were  lierce  in  their  attacks  upon  the  Govern- 
ment. Sir  John  Macdonald  proposed  his  usual  motion,  sligiit- 
ly  altered  from  the  preceding  year,  as  follows:  "Tiiat  this 
House  regrets  that  the  iinaneial  policy  sul)mitted  by  the 
Government  increases  our  burden  of  taxation  on  the  people 
without  any  compensating  advantage  to  Canadian  interests, 
and  further,  that  this  House  is  of  the  opinion  that  the  defi- 
ciency in  the  resenue  should  be  met  by  u  diminuti(jn  of  ex- 
penditure, aided  by  such  a  readjustment  of  the  taritl'as  will 
benefit  and  foster  the  agricultural,  mining  and  manufacturing 
interests  of  the  Dominion." 


power 
lier  the 
ike  our 


AN  IRKSOME  SESSION  OF  PARLIAMENT. 


447 


The  division,  in  a  House  of  189  members,  f^ave  the  Govern- 
mcut  49  of  a  majority. 

Dr.  Orton,  who  had  made  himself  the  special  champion  of 
the  agricultural  interests  of  the  country,  also  submitted  a  re- 
solution in  favor  of  protection  to  the  farmers,  "  expressing  re- 
gret that  the  Government  had  not  seen  fit,  with  a  due  regard 
to  all  other  .industries,  so  to  arrange  the  customs  tarifi'  as 
to  relieve  the  farmers  of  Canada  from  the  unjust  eflects  of  the 
one-sided  and  unfair  tariff  relations  which  exist  between  Can- 
ada and  the  United  States,  in  reference  to  the  interchange  of 
agricultural  products,  as  well  as  animals  and  tlieir  products, 
and  at  the  same  time  place  this  country  in  a  better  position  to 
m-gotiate  a  fair  and  just  reciprocity  in  the  interchange  of  such 
products  between  Canada  and  the  United  States." 

In  a  House  of  187  members,  Dr.  Orton's  motion  was  defeat- 
ed by  a  majority  of  39. 

Those  two  resolutions  occupied  the  almost  undivided  atten- 
tion of  the  House  for  over  three  weeks,  during  which  time 
[protection  was  discussed  from  almost  every  possible  stand- 
point. 

WhiMi  ^[r.  Mackenzie  announced  in  1874  to  the  electors  of 
Lambton  the  Government  policy  with  regard  to  the  Pacific 
Railway,  he  signified  his  intention  to  use  the  water  stretches 
between  Lake  Superior  and  Winnipeg  as  a  temporary  substi- 
tute for  a  railway  for  a  part  of  the  distance  between  these 
two  points.  He  showed  that  the  obligation  under  which  tlie 
country  had  been  placiMl  to  British  Columbia  for  the  con- 
struction of  a  railway  across  the  continent  in  ten  years  in- 
volved financial  biu'dens  vastly  greater  than  the  country  could 
bear,  and  to  reduce  these  burdens,  or  to  distribute  them  over  a 
greater  period,  was  desirable.  The  schenm  finally  agreed  uptju 
would  involve  tlie  construction  of  G5  ndles  of  railway  from 


I 


I 


448 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


I       ) 


Lake  Superior  to  Lac  dcs  Mi  lies  Lacs;  thence  there  would  be 
270  miles  oi:  navigable  water  to  the  north-west  angle  of  the 
Lake  of  the  Woods.  A  raihvay  113  miles  in  length  fi'om  the 
last-mentioned  point  would  roach  Red  River.  In  the  distance 
covered  by  these  water  stretches  there  would  be  in  all  six 
portages,  the  longest  Qh  miles,  and  the  shortest  about  an  eighth 
of  a  mile.  The  portage  at  Fort  Francis  was  the  one  that 
most  seriously  impeded  navigation.  If  the  waterways  be- 
tween Rainy  Lake  and  Lake  of  the  Woods  could  be  connected 
by  a  canal,  the  transportation  of  passengers  and  freight  would 
be  greatly  facilitated,  and  with  that  object  in  view  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie had  taken  a  vote  from  Parliament  of  Si  50,000,  and 
subsequently  an  additional  vote  of  $500,000  for  works  of 
navigation  in  connection  with  the  Pacific  Railway.  No  formal 
contract  was  let  for  the  construction  of  the  work,  as  it  was 
considered  it  could  be  better  managed  under  the  department 
of  public  works  by  time  labor. 

The  Opposition  took  great  pains  to  show  that  the  construc- 
tion of  this  lock  was  a  waste  of  public  money,  that  the  de- 
sired navigation  could  not  be  obtained  by  the  means  proposed, 
and  that  the  transfer  of  freight,  rendered  necessary  by  the 
numerous  portages,  would  be  very  expensive.  Moreover,  they 
alleged  that  ^Ir.  Mackenzie  exceeded  his  authority,  as  Minister 
of  Public  Works,  in  proceeding  by  time  labor  and  not  by  ten- 
der, and  that  the  whole  transaction  was  one  for  which  the 
Government  should  be  condennied. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  defence  was  simply  a  clear  statement  of 
the  policy  of  the  Gover.iment,  as  previously  announced.  If 
communication  with  the  North- West  were  in  the  meantime 
obtained  by  the  construction  of  a  small  lock  at  a  trilling  cost, 
the  immediate  necessities  of  the  settlers  would  be  met,  and 
the  construction  of  the  continuous  rail-route  could  be  under- 


AN  IRKSOME  SLSSIOX  OF  PARLIAMKXT. 


440 


taken  as  soon  as  tlie  finances  of  the  country  would  peiniit. 
It  was  no  small  matter,  he  urged,  to  proceed  at  once  M'iih  the 
construction  of  276  miles  of  railway — the  distance  projiosed 
to  be  covered  by  water.  Communication  once  opened  in  this 
way,  operations  in  the  West  would  be  greatly  aided,  as  sup- 
pliers of  all  kinds  for  railway  pui-poses  could  more  readily  be 
conveyed  to  the  interior  of  the  country.  There  was  no  con- 
stitutional objection  to  the  construction  of  the  lock  by  time- 
labor.  The  Dawson  route,  which  cost  nearly  one  million  and 
a  half,  was  built  b^^  the  prevnous  Government  in  the  same 
way.  If  the  country  could  atibrd  an  all- line  of  railway  at 
once  it  would  be  pref(n-able,  but  this  was  out  of  the  question. 

Another  attack  was  made  upon  the  Department  of  Publi.c 
Works  in  what  was  called  the  "  Goderich  Harbor  Job."  The 
gravamen  of  this  attack  was  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  in  letting  a 
contract  for  the  improvement  of  the  Goderich  harbor  had 
passed  over  the  lowest  tenderer  (a  Mr.  Tolton)  for  insufficient 
leasons,  and  awarded  the  contract  to  Moore  &  Co.,  whose  ten- 
<l<'r  was  about  830,000  higher,  mainly  becau.se  he  was  a  friend 
of  the  Government  and  a  supporter  of  Mr.  Blake  in  South 
Ih'uce. 

Tn  his  reply  to  this  attack,  Mr.  ^[ackenzio  showed  that  the 
jiolicy  of  tlu^  Public  Works  Department  was  invariably  to 
accept  the  lowest  tender  unless  it  was  shewn  that  the  person 
tendei'ing  had  failed  to  carry  out  some  i)revious  contract  with 
the  GoN'ernnient,  or  was  likely  to  f.-iil  from  want  of  experi- 
enee  or  iinancial  ability.  He  proved  from  the  records  of 
the  department  th;it  his  Goxcrnnieiit  hail  awarded  a.  nnich 
l.irgei'  number  of  contracts  to  the  lowest  ten<lerers  tli.ni  the 
[irevious  Go\  t'l'nment.  The  reason  why  Mr.  Tolton  waspasse<l 
over  WMs  that  he  was  not  known  to  the  Public  Woi'ks  ])cp;ii't- 
nient  a.s  a  man  of  exDerience  in  the  kind  of  work  fur  whicli 


jxperi 


CO 


ip^!mw^F—mm 


4o0 


LIFI'J  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


ho  had  tendered  ;  that  liis  tender  was  an  exceedingly  low  one, 
and  that  there  Wcas  o-j-eat  dan<;er  that  the  Government  nii<»ht 
be  put  to  a  loss  if  obliged  to  take  the  work  off  his  hands 
before  completed.  The  security  he  offered  was  not  satisfac- 
tory, which  was  a  most  important  consideration,  and  under 
the  circumstances  tlie  Government  had  no  choice  but  to  pro- 
ceed on  the  advice  of  the  chief  engineer,  ^Ir  Page,  a  man  of 
the  highest  integrity,  and  who  would  not  be  biassed  by  any 
political  or  personal  reason.  As  in  all  similar  cases,  Mr.  Blake's 
letter  introducing  Mr.  Moore  to  him,  as  Minister  of  Public 
Works,  was  such  a  letter  as  any  niember  of  Parliament  might 
give  one  of  his  constituents,  and  as  was  said  by  Sir  John  ^lac- 
donald  afterwards,  in  speaking  of  it:  "  Mr.  Moore  had  a  right 
to  receive  such  a  letter  from  the  Minister  of  Justice  (Mr. 
Blake).  Mr.  Moore  had  a  right  to  ask  such  a  letter  from  the 
Minister  of  Justice  (Mr.  Blake)  and  to  give  such  a  letter  Ava.s 
highly  creditable  to  Mr.  Blake." 

We  have  placed  side  by  side  these  two  attacks  upon  the 
Public  Works  Department  to  show  the  liimsy  nature  of  the 
chai'ges  brought  by  the  Opposition  against  Mr.  Mackenzie  as 
the  head  of  that  department,  and  also  to  shew  the  material 
out  of  which  later  on,  they  intended  to  make  an  election  cry. 
In  neither  of  these  charges  was  there  the  slightest  malversa- 
tion proven.  The  alleged  favoritism,  with  respect  to  the  God- 
erich  Harbor  contract,  was  founded  in  a  letter  of  introduction, 
given  by  Mr.  Blake  to  one  of  his  constituents,  in  these  words: 


"]\Iy  Deau  Mackknzib, 

"  David  Moore,  of  Walkerton,  asks  me  to  inform  you  that  he  is  about 
to  tender  for  the  Godcrich  works,  and  I  do  so  accordinj^ly.  1  told  my 
friend  Moore  that  an  introduction  was  unnecessary,  as  you  wo;dd  Itt  the 
Works  fairly,  without  respect  to  persons. 

"  Yours,  etc.,  Euwauli  iiLAKii." 


■f 


^A'  IRKSOMK  SESSION  OF  PARLIAMENT. 


451 


iLAKIi. 


Had  it  been  shown  that  this  was  the  only  instance  in  which 
the  lowest  tender  was  passed  over,  or  had  it  been  shewn  even 
that  there  was  no  oood  and  sufBcient  reason  for  passinor  over 
the  lowest  tender  in  this  case,  the  charge  of  political  favoritism 
would  have  some  foundation.  On  neither  of  these  points  was 
the  evidence  worthy  of  a  moment's  consideration. 

No  wonder  that  Mr.  Mackenzie  resented  these  attacks  on 
his  department  with  the  greatest  vigor,  and  no  wonder  that 
he  cited  by  the  score  instances  in  which  his  predecessors,  for 
public  reasons,  as  the  House  at  least  was  led  to  believe,  had 
acted  in  a  similar  way. 

About  the  close  of  the  session  objection  was  taken  to  the 
right  of  Mr.  Anglin,  Speaker  of  the  House  of  Commons,  to 
hold  a  seat  in  Parliament,  on  the  ground  that  he  had  violated 
the  Independence  of  Parliament  Act  by  taking  a  contract 
from  the  Government.  It  appears  that  under  the  previous 
administration  the  printing  required  for  the  Post  Office  De- 
partment, so  far  as  the  Maritime  Provinces  were  concerned, 
was  placed  in  the  hands  of  local  newspapers  in  Halifax  and 
yt.  John.  On  the  change  of  administration,  the  Postmaster 
(ireneral  instructed  the  officers  of  the  department  to  transfer 
such  work  to  the  newspapers  supporting  the  Liberal  party. 
The  work  was  to  be  done  according  to  schedule  rates  agreed 
upon  by  the  department,  and  the  accounts  were  sent  in  for  pay- 
ment in  the  usual  waJ^  Mr.  Anglin  was  at  that  time  editor 
and  proprietor  of  the  St.  John  Freeman,  a  journal  favorable 
to  the  Government.  Printing  to  the  extent  of  about  .'^  10,000 
was  done  at  his  office,  for  which  he  had  received  the  prices 
fixed  by  the  Post  Office  Department. 

The  Connnittee  on  Privileges  and  Elections,  to  which  the 
matter  was  referred,  held  two  or  three  meetings,  but  as  they 
were  appointed  late  in  the  session,  they  simply  examined  Mr. 


•1 


452 


LI  IE  OF  THE  HON.  A  LEX  Ay  DEI!  MACKENZIE. 


Anglin  as  to  tlie  nature  of  the  contract,  and  at  the  close  of 
the  session  reported  tluit  they  were  unable  to  proceed  any 
farther  with  the  inquiries  submitted  to  their  consideration. 

The  violation  of  tire  Independence  of  Parliament  Act,  with 
wiiich  Mr.  Anglin  was  chai-ged,  was  of  a  very  venial  character. 
He  had  not  solicited  any  contract  from  the  Governniiint,  nor 
had  he  even  arranged  with  the  Post  Office  Department  as  to 
the  prices  to  be  paid,  and  althonoli  the  cheques  for  the  work 
done  w^ere  issued  in  iiis  favor,  a  large  part  of  it  was  done  at 
other  offices.  Even  his  opponents  did  not  cliaj-ge  him  with 
any  corrupt  motives  in  obtaining  the  work.  It  was  also  shown 
before  the  Committee  that  so  soon  as  the  (Jovernment,  as  a 
whole,  became  aware  of  tlie  relations  which  he  occupied  to  the 
depai'tment,  the  work  was  stopped ;  so  that  for  near!}-  a  year 
before  the  matter  came  up  in  the  House  he  had  ceased  to  be, 
in  any  sense  of  the  term,  a  Government  coniractor. 

Although  Mr.  Anglin  had  violated  the  Act  only  in  the 
letter,  he  was  prepared  to  take  the  consec^uences,  and  so  im- 
mediately after  prorogation  he  resigned  his  seat.  His  con- 
stituents, feeling  that  he  iiad  connnitted  no  mistake,  returned 
him  again  to  Parliament. 

Mr.  Vail,  Minister  of  Militia,  because  a  stockholder  in  a 
rirm  having  a  contract  witJi  the  Government,  also  resigned 
during  the  recess.  He,  however,  was  less  fortunate  than  Mr. 
Anglin,  as  he  failed  to  secure  re-election. 

While  Lord  Dutl'erin  was  in  the  North-West,  Mr.  Mackenzie 
made  th(i  gi'ave  diplomatic  departure  of  sending  Minister  Mills 
to  Washington,  Nvithout  the  intervention  of  the  circundocution 
office,  to  endeavor  to  arrange  with  the  authorities  there  for  the 
return  of  Sitting  i3ull,  who,  iu  equal  disregard  of  proper  usage 
had  crossed  with  his  braves  into  Canadian  territory  so  as  to 
escape  the   United  States  trooj)s.     One  does  not  know  which 


m\i 


AX  IRKSOME  SESSIOX  OF  PARUAMENT. 


453 


movement  was  the  greater  menace  to  the  peace  of  nations. 
But,  as  the  Indian  warrior  had  taken  the  shortest  cut  out 
of  his  difficulty,  the  Canadian  Minister  took  the  shortest 
way  to  escape  the  dilemma  he  was  placed  in  by  Sitting  Bull's 
action.  Notwithstanding  the  lack  of  form,  against  which 
there  was  a  mild  protest  at  the  White  House,  and  one  much 
stronger  from  Downing-street,  ^Ir.  Mills  found  the  President 
and  his  Ministers  very  willing  to  adopt  the  suggestion  he  was 
charged  informally  to  make.  This  was  tluit  a  Commission 
should  be  sent  by  theGoverinnent  of  the  United  States  to  Sit- 
ting Bull's  camp  and  arrange  for  his  peaceful  return  to  his 
own  country.  This  Commission  was  intended  to  be  backed  up 
by  a  little  pressure  on  the  Canadian  side,  Col.  McLeod,  com- 
mander of  the  mounted  police  in  tlie  North- West,  hi ti tine:  to 
the  dusky  visitor  and  his  followers  that  non-compliance  would 
be  likely  to  result  in  permission  being  given  tlie  American 
troops  to  cross  the  line  and  take  them  prisoners.  General 
Sherman,  the  officer  in  charge  in  the  West,  pointed  out  tlie 
urgency  of  prompt  action  on  our  part,  so  as  to  prevent  Can-  - 
adian  soil  being  made  a  base  of  operations  by  hostile  Indians 
which  he  rei^arded  as  inevitable  if  the  Sicaix  wi.i'o  to  Ije  allow- 
ed  to  remain  with  their  horses  and  arms.  It  was  a  pressing 
emergency,  ami  it  was  felt  that  if  the  represiMitation  made  to 
Washington  had  to  pass  thi'ough  the  Colonial  office,  winter 
might  come  and  serious  con)plications  result.  The  strangers 
would,  while  here,  have  to  be  kept  in  order — a  most  difficult 
matter,  or  be  delivererl  over  to  the  United  States  authorities — • 
a  more  difficult  matter  still ;  and  international  law  would 
make  Cana<ia  liable  for  any  raiding  into  the  adjacent  territory 
of  which  they  might  be  guilty.  It  was,  in  fact,  one  of  those 
cases  in  which  Mr.  Mackenzie  had  to  act  promptly,  and  in 


454 


LIFE  OF  THE  IIOX.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


spite  of  tlie  wrench,  constitutionally,  tlie  difficulty  was  satis- 
factorily overcome. 

To  those  who  knew  little  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's  disposition,  ex- 
cept from  observing  him  in  the  House  as  leader  of  the  Govern- 
ment, it  would  never  occur  that  the  man  who  repelled  the 
attacks  of  his  opponents  with  so  much  vigor,  who  returned 
blow  for  blow  with  Hre-flashinn-  eye,  who  even  hesitated  not 
when  the  occasion  warranted,  to  uncover  the  past  and  expose 
inconsistencies  that  most  men  luK.l  forrjotten,  was  a  man  of  the 
deepest  sensibility  and  kindliness  of  heart. 

Neither  the  engrossing-  cares  of  his  office,  nor  the  bitterness 
of  an  unreasoning  press  could  suppress  that  still  small  voice  of 
sympathy  with  his  fellow  men,  which  to  those  who  knew  him 
best  was  so  substantial  an  element  of  his  character. 

We  have  before  us  two  letters — the  first  to  a  faithful  servant 
of  the  State,  an  engineer  engaged  on  the  Pacific  Railway  ex- 
ploration, the  second  to  a  wi<Iow  of  a  clo'gyman  who  had 
died  on  the  field  of  duty,  which  are  among  the  tenderest  and 
most  touching,  as  in  their  tone  they  are  the  most  elevating, 
communications  that  tlie  head  of  a  political  department  ever 
penned.  He  "  allures  to  brighter  worlds  and  points  the  way." 
The  first  from  the  Public  Works  Dt'partment,  under  date  Dec. 
10th,  1877,  is  as  follows: 


"It  is  ii  matter  of  great  sorrow  to  all  the  departmental  officers  with 
whom  you  came  in  contact  to  hear  ff  your  serious  illness.  To  myself  it 
is  poculiarly  tlisi.essing,  as  I  had  formed  a  very  high  opinion  of  your  pro- 
fessional ability  and  your  personal  integrity  while  acting  for  the  Govern- 
ment in  a  very  difficult  and  resfjonsible  position.  I  regret  much  being 
unable  to  spare  the  time  necessary  to  go  to  say  good-bye  to  you  in  person, 
and  therefore  do  so  by  letter. 

"  I  earnestly  trust  that  if  your  earthly  days  are  nearly  numbered  you 
may  enjoy  the  hope  of  a  blessed  innnortality  tla\>ugh  the  merits  of  our 


.'l.V  IliKSOME  SESSIOX  OF  rARLIAMENT. 


45.-. 


S.-wiour.     This,  iifter  uU,  ia  more  than  earthly  honor,  or  long  life,  as  our 
utmost  length  of  days  is  too  brief  to  be  noticed  in  the  light  of  eternity. 

"Yours  very  faithfully,  A.  Mackk.nzik." 

Tlie  second  letter,  written  ;i  I'ew  weeks  al'terwards,  is  to  the 
widow  ot  the  Rev.  Geo.  M.  MeDouo'all,  the  devoted  Aletliodist 
mi.ssionary  in  the  North- West.  Mr.  MeDougall  was  a  man 
oL'  great  force  ot"  character,  whose  whole  life  was  heroically 
consecrated  to  missionary  work  anionic  tiie  Indians,  who 
oreatly  loved  and  trusted  him.  He  rendered  valuable  services 
to  the  Indian  Treaty  Conunissioners  in  their  dealing-  with  the 
Indians  in  the  North-West  Territories  in  InT-I.  Tlie  manner 
of  his  death  was  peculiarly  sad  and  aHeetini;'.  He  became 
separated  from  ids  company,  and  missed  his  way  on  tlie  prairie 
in  a  blinding  snow  storm.  Subsecpiently  he  was  foumlcalndy 
sleeping  the  sleep  of  death  in  the  drifting  snow.  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie caused  a  gratuity  of  SoOO  to  be  paid  to  his  wiilow. 
The    expressions   of    her   acknowledgments    ilrew    from    the 

Premier  this  beautiful  reply  :  ^ 

"Ottawa,  Feb.  L'Otli,  1878. 

"Dear  Madam, — Mr.  Macdonald  [the  e.\-Senator  of  Toronto]  has  in- 
formed me  of  your  letter  to  him  of  the  22nd  inst.,  in  which  y(m  convey 
to  the  Government  your  acknowletlgments  for  tlie  payment  of  $500  on 
account  of  your  late  luisband's  services.  I  will  couunmiicate  to  my 
colleagues  your  message. 

"  I  assure  you  that  nothing  could  be  more  gratefid  to  my  own  feelings 
than  to  have  it  in  my  power  to  do  .something  for  the  family  of  one  who 
was  so  devoted  to  (Jod  and  liis  country  as  your  late  Limented  husband. 
The  tragic  story  of  Mr.  McDougall's  death,  on  Ids  chosen  tield  of  labor, 
where  he  had  done  so  mucli  to  elevate  the  character  of  the  uncivilized 
natives,  is  one  of  the  saddest  incidents  coimocted  with  the  history  of  our 
western  possessions.  It  drew  forth  the  syin[)athies  of  all  true  men  to 
yourself  under  your  deep  alfliction.  It  is  but  little  that  outsiders  can  do 
under  such  circumstances,  as  the  stricken  heart  prefers  its  own  loneliness 
to  the  intrusive  sympathy  of  strangers.      You  have,  however,  the  conso- 


i 

i 

h. 

t 

- 

I 


456 


LIFE  or  THE  I  [OX.  ALEXAX.ER  MACKEXZIE. 


lation  of  knowing  tli.it  your  late  liusbaiul  died  nol>ly  at  iiis  post  after  a 
laborious  and  self-denying  life.  I  little  thought  when  I  had  my  last  long 
interview  with  him  concerning  niir  fur-off  land,  that  in  so  short  a  time  he 
would  pass  from  that  land  to  a  still  furiher  off  inheritance,  where  he 
would  see  the  King  in  His  beauty,  whom  in  common  with  his  earthly 
sovereign  he  had  served  so  faithfully  here.  Permit  me  to  add  that  I  shall 
always  take  an  interest  in  your  welfare,  though  I  iiave  not  the  honor  of 
your  personal  acquaintance.    I  am,  dear  madam, 

**  Yours  faithfully,  A.  M.vckknzu:. 
"Mrs.  McDougall,  Thoinl)ury,  Out." 

Kindnesses  like  these  were  continual  witii  Mr.  Mackenzie, 
and  they  were  like  the  gentle  rain  from  heaven  "  which  bles- 
seth  liiui  that  gives,  and  hiin  that  takes."  Writing  to  his 
dauo-hter  when  he  was  in  the  North-West  Territories  in  Aumist 
of  1884,  Mr.  Mackenzie  says :  "  I  met  a  priest  here  to  whom  I 
once  rendered  some  service,  who  was  very  grateful  and  very 
kind.  A  message  was  also  sent  me  by  the  widow  of  the  Re\'. 
George  McDougall,  a  devoted  Methodist  Missionary,  whom  I 
had  emplo3^ed  on  Indian  work,  who  was  lost  in  a  storm.  I 
called  to  see  the  old  lady.  It  seems  that  I  had  written  her 
after  an  event  of  so  much  sadness,  especially  to  her,  though  I 
had  forgotten  it.  She  had  the  letter  with  her,  and  wept  freely 
when  she  saw  me.  I  was  nuich  touched  by  her  unaflected  and 
feeling  words  and  manner  in  referring  to  the  great  sorrow  of 
her  life,  and  was  glad  to  think  that  any  poor  words  of  mine 
might  have  alleviated  her  distress." 

Mr.  Mackenzie  had  friends  in  pastors  of  all  the  churches. 
One  of  the  good  deeds  brought  to  light  for  the  first  time  when 
he  died  had  reference  to  a  minister  of  the  Presbyterian 
Church,  whose  name  has  been  given  us,  and  wlio  evidently 
him.self  prints  the  statement.  The  minister,  now  a  learned 
doctor,  was  driving  to  the  station  at  Sarnia,  when  his  horse 
ran  away,  and  he  was  badly  hurt.     He  was  brought  back  to 


^'%l'\^  % 


AN  IRKSOME  SESSION  OF  I'AL'/JAMENT. 


437 


/Tty 


'Ax 


^4^  /^^  /y" 


y^^l^C^       «^^ii^^^3^«^:^'i2^S2^,^ 


// 


i-z^   /l-:^^^- 


(Fac-simile  of  Sir  John  A.  MacdonakVs  hmul-writinr/.) 


458 


Liri-:  or  the  rrox.  Alexander  mackexzie. 


Mr.  Mackenzie's  house,  where  he  lay  for  some  weeks,  nursed 
with  the  tenderes^.  care.  During  that  time  Mr.  Mackenzie 
was  appointed  a  minister  in  tlie  Cabinet  of  Ontario.  "One 
day,"  continues  the  narrator,  "  Mrs.  Mackenzie  was  sitting  by 
the  sick  bed,  when  a  letter  was  handed  to  her.  She  read  it 
in  silence,  while  a  quiet  tear  stole  down  her  cheek.  The 
patient  askeil  if  there  was  any  bad  news.  Without  a  wonl 
she  handed  him  the  ktter.  It  Avas  from  her  husband,  telling 
her  of  his  appointment,  recalling  all  the  ways  by  which  they 
had  been  led  through  life,  and  asking  her  to  pray  for  him 
now,  that  he  might  be  kept  right  amid  the  temptations  and 
difficulties  of  his  responsible  position." 

This  letter  with  many  others,  which  Mrs.  Mackenzie  highly 
valued,  it  may  be  here  mentioned,  was  destroyed  by  a  fire  in 
Ottawa  during  Mr.  ^Mackenzie's  administration. 


MM':^  ^'s.M^m\ 


>ii^U&:':. 


mmi 


"    1M 


CHAPTER 


LAST   SESSION    IN    POWER. 

nittorncs-^  of  Parlies—Sir  John's  Attack  on  Mr.  Aiiglin—'riio  Premier's  De- 
fence—Long and  Acrimonious  Debate  on  the  Address — The  Turning  Point 
of  Depression  Reached— Mr.  Mowat  olVcred  a  seat  in  tlie  Cioverninent — The 
Fighting  ({round  for  tlie  Elections  Liiid  Out— Tiie  rrotective  i'olipy— The 
Auditor-General— Teniperauue  Legislutiou— Another  Stride  Towards  Self- 
Governnient. 


HE  fiith  session  of  Parliament,  tlie  last  with  Mi-. 
Mackenzie  as  Premier,  commenced,  continued,  and 
endetl  amidst  feelin<;s  of  bitterness.  Few  parlia- 
mentary recoj'ds  are  more  painful  than  the  last  six 
^:^  }iaf)es  of  Kansard  for  the  year  1878,  when,  even  while 
Black  Hod  was  knocking  at  the  door  to  summon  the 
meml '^rs  of  the  House  of  Connnons  to  meet  His  Excellency 
in  the  Senate,  a  scene  was  beino-  enacted  such  as  those  wlio 
witnessed  it  will  ne\'er  forget.  15ad  as  it  apjx^ars  on  the  face 
of  the  oilicial  debates,  it  wsis  far  worse  than  the  picture  pre- 
sented there. 

Owing  to  the  resignation  of  Mr.  Aiiglin,  as  member  for 
Gloucester,  the  Speakership  which  he  held  was  vacated  also, 
and  ic  became  the  first  iluty  of  the  House  on  the  re-assembling 
of  rarliament,  on  the  7th  of  February,  to  elect  a  Speakt-r. 

Mr.  Anglin,  for  the  previous  four  years,  had  prt-aided  with 
marked  ability  and  impartiality.  By  iiia  long  exponcnco  in 
Parliament  he  had  become  familiar  with  the  routine  of  the 
House,  and  by  his  study  of  parliamentary  procedure  he  was 

45! » 


I 


\ 


m 


4U0 


LIFE  OF  THE  JIOX.  ALEXANDEli  MACKEXZIF:. 


'^ 


able,  as  a  rule,  to  give  decisions  on  points  of  order  with  great 
promptness.  By  placing  him  in  the  chair  in  the  first  instance, 
Mr.  Mackenzie  lost  an  able  ally  on  tli^  floor  of  tlie  House. 
But  as  Mr.  Anglin  had  sustained  so  well  the  dignity  of  his 
[)Osition,  and  as  his  constituents  had  shown  by  their  returning 
him  to  Parliament  that,  notwithstanding  the  attacks  of  his 
opponents,  they  still  maintained  their  confidence  in  him,  it 
was  due  both  to  his  record  as  a  member  of  the  House  and  as 
Speaker,  that  he  should  be  continued  during  the  full  Pai'lia- 
mentary  term. 

Sir  John  A.  Macdonald  objected  to  Mr.  Anglin's  re-nomina- 
tion, chiefly  on  technical  grounds.  He  said  that  the  member 
for  Gloucester  was  a  new  member,  and,  according  to  the  ywac- 
tice  of  the  English  House  of  Commons,  he  could  not  be  known 
to  the  House  until  introduced  by  two  members,  and  not  being 
introduced,  he  was  not  eligible  as  Speaker. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  quietl}'  replied  by  asking  the  House  to  note 
that  Sir  John  Macdonald  himself  had  never  been  introduced. 
Tiiey  had  therefore  been  iistening  to  a  speech  of  neai'ly  an 
hour  from  a  person  who,  according  to  his  own  showing,  had 
no  business  there  and  was  not  a  member,  The  same  honorable 
gentleman  rose  in  his  place  last  session  to  excuse  an  honorable 
meudter  who  entered  the  House  not  only  without  being  intro- 
duced, but  without  taking  the  oaths.  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald 
had  appealed  to  the  English  |)ractice,  but  the  rule  in  (Ir^at 
Britain  required  a  member  to  be  sworn  before  the  Speiiker 
necessitating  the  appointment  of  a  Speaker  before  he  couM  be 
sworn,  while  here  he  was  sworn,  as  Mr.  Anglin  had  been  sworn, 
before  the  clei-k,  upon  producing  his  certiticate  of  election. 
In  the  British  House  of  Connnons  the  Speaker  is  elected  by 
the  members  before  any  of  them  takes  the  oath.  Then  the 
Speaker  aione,  "  standing  on  the  upper  step  of  the  chair,  takes 


LAST  SESSIOX  IX  POWER. 


461 


tlie  oath  of  alleg-ianco  and  supremacy,  and  takes  and  sniiscribes 
the  oath  of  abjuration,  and  also  delivers  to  the  clerk  of  tlie 
House  a  statement  of  his  qualification,  and  makes  and  sub- 
scribes a  declaration  that  he  is  duly  qualified,  in  which  cere- 
mony he  is  followed  by  the  other  members  who  are  present." 
Here  the  practice  was  wholly  different,  and  the  rule  of  tlie 
Imperial  House  of  Commons  could  not  be  made  by  any  possi- 
bility to  a]iply.  There  was  no  power  to  exclude  a  duly-elected 
member  from  this  House,  whatever  might  be  the  manner  of 
his  enirance  into  it. 

Sir  John,  however,  pressed  his  objection,  and  unsuccessfully 
divided  the  House. 

The  speech  from  the  Throne  was  an  excellent  sumiihuy  of 
the  work  of  the  past  year,  and  contained  an  outline  of  .sutH- 
cient  leo'islation  for  a  session  of  ordinary  l<'n<>tli.     His  Excel- 
lenc}'   referred  to  the  settlement  of  the  fishery  claims  under 
the  Washinnton  Treaty,  and  the  award  of  five  and  a  half  mil- 
lion dollars  in  favor  of  Canada  and  Newfoundland  for  the  use 
of  their  fisheries  duriny,- the  treaty;  to  the  exhibition  of  Can- 
adian  manufactures  in  New  Soutli  \V;ile.s,  as  likely  to  open  a 
wider  market  for  the  products  of  the  countiy ;  to  treaties 
made  with  the  Indiais,  by  which  the  whole  of  the  territory 
froiii  Luke  Superior  to  the  Rocky  Mountains  had  been  acipur- 
<mI  by  peaceful  ne^i'otiations  from  the  native  tribes;  to  the  re- 
tirement of  Sittinfj;  Bull  from  British  teiiitorv,  thus  relievinnr 
CiUiida  of  a  cause  of  uneasinc^ss,  and  |)ossibly  of  a  heavy  ex- 
penditure ;  to  the  ]iractical  completion  of  the  survey  of  the 
Canadian  Pacific  Uailway,  and  to  the  increase  in  the  ivvenues 
of  the  country  from  a  ])artial  revival  of  trade.     Li-yislation  was 
promised  with  regard  to  the  independence  of  I'arliament,  the 
oflfice  of  Auditor-Ceneral,  ami  the  regnlation  of  the  tratlie  in 
•spirituous  licpiors. 


4(i2 


LIFE  OF  THE  1 1  OX.  A/JJXAXJJEIi  MACEEXZIE. 


TIk'  ntlili-css  was  discjussod  with  ^rcat  v]<i;nr  <lurinfj  fivo  coii- 
soeutive  day.s,  in  which  this  Ministers  wtn-c  jittacktiil  I»\-  dit'- 
fcrent  rnoinhci's  ol"  (Jic  Opjiositiou,  on  almost  cvi'vy  detail  ol' 
tlieii'  adniinistiNitioii  ol'  [)ublie  adJurH  since  thoy  assumed  oliice. 
The  air  ol"  the  Coniiiions  (yhainhei"  was  rethjlent  oi'  censure. 
Mr.  .Maekenzi(;  hail  ])Urclia.sed  constituencies  by  money  (.x- 
trat'tecj  from  contra'-toi's.  lie  had  violated  tin'  Indejxjndeneo 
of  Parliament  Act  in  (In'  person  of  m;iny  ol"  his  supjiortei's. 
Ih'  had  I'ocoinTuended  an  anuiesty  Tor  Kiel  and  Lepine,  hut  not 
Tor  O'Donoji'liue,  thus  discriminatlnir  against,  the  Irish  race. 
lie  hail  not  secured  the  repe.d  ol"  the  New  r.rnnswick  Schijol 
Jiill,  and  in  this  way  h;i(l  done  an  injnstice  to  tin;  C'atholics. 
Ifeliad  not  coni[)!et(!d  the  surv(}ys  ol'  thu  Canadian  racdie  iJail- 
way,  as  he  should  liaA'c;  donr,  so  that  injury  was  inllicteil  uj»on 
the  Ih'itish  ( 'oliind»iaiis.  'I'lie  tarill'  had  not  ])i'en  aiKanenl, 
and  the  stru^f^litijf;^  industries  ol"  the  country  wei'e  still  I.mi- 
;;'uisliin<f.  Such  \\'as  tlie  indictment  ol"  the  (Jovei'mni'iil,  and 
sjieeches  to  sustain  it  were  for  fi\(i  days  poured  into  the  ears 
of  till'  oiricial  repoi'ters  with  {^rcat  fluency  and  due  emphasis. 

Several  encounters  of  u  personal  cha,iacter  to(jk  jtlace'  be- 
tween members  on  o})[iosite.  siiles  ol"  the  House,  one  of  tie-  most 
intere.'-tin<;  ol"  which  was  the  du*;!  between  Hon.  Di.  Tiippei-  * 
anil  the  Ibin.  A.  G.  Jones,  who  was  then  Minister  ol'  Militia. 
They  were  old  antae^onists.  'I'hey  had  met  on  many  a  platl'o)  ni 
in  their  own  province,  bid.  this  was  the  first  time  when  they 
]>ractically  .ste[i[)ed  out  into  the  political  rin;,^  at  Ottawa  in 
mortal  combat.  Dr.  Tupper  h;el  just  been  inilul;^dn;,f  in  etl'u- 
HJvo  sell'-con^n'atulations  on  tJi(^  succ(>ss  ol'  the  eloction.s  that 
had  tnken  pkute  durini^f  tin?  recess,  atid  particulai-ly  ovei'  the 
defeat  ol'  lion.  W.  \'>.  \'ail,  I'ormerly  MiiMst(!r  ol'  Militia.  Tie' 
Tate  whii'h  oveitook  Mr.  \'ail,  was  just  the  Tate,  hi-  said,  which 
Mr.  .lones  deserved,  I'oi"  he  was  not  loyal  to  tin;  l'>m[)ire. 


'  "rtl' 


LASr  .SAW.SVOA'  JX  row  Eli. 


4g;{ 


IVO  COll- 

by  ail'- 
lotsiil  of 
■•1  otlico. 
(•(■ii.surc. 
liC'V   ex- 

)])<)l't('l'.S. 

,  Iiut  not 

isll     I'.'K'C. 

\  S('Iio(j1 

flUloli(:S. 

ific  lliiil- 

t,('*l    llpOIl 

ilvaiM-i'il, 
■itill  l.Mi- 
ent,  am! 
tlic  oars 
ipliasis. 
»Iaco  be- 
tbi'  most 
.  TupptT 

Militia. 

ilatl'oi  III 


■II  tbey 
,ta\va   in 

ill  cli'il- 
oiis  that 
jver  tbi; 
ia.  'V\u' 
wbicli 


Mr.  Jones  rcpb'ftl  \vitli  Tnai-l<i'(I  ofrccfc.  'Wi-.  ])ar1-aiii(ntai-y 
style  of  bis  8[)(i0cli,  its  diii^nity  ami  i"oi-c<!,  won  loi-  liini  tbo  ad- 
miration ol"  botb  sides  f>r  tbf  House,  and  tlir  ajtplausu  with 
wliicb  bis  nniarks  \v;to  I'cccivjd  nnist  bavc  convinciid  l)f. 
1"up[)or  tbat  to  attack  Mi".  Joiirs  was  lujt  tin;  best  way  to  im- 
prove bis  position  in  the  Ib^iise. 

It  ina.y  not  be  ^^-cniially  known  tliat  wlien  Mr.  lilakc^  sent 
in  bis  resignation  as  Minister  <ji'  Just  ice.  .Mr.  Mackenzie  was 
anxious  that  th<;  poll  Mo  sbouM  go  to  some  representative  ol 
th<-'  I'rovince  (jT  Ontai-io. 

'^riie  bijLfislation  witli  which  tin'  ibiusi'  of  ( "oiiinions  has  to 
deal  i'olKnvs,  in  tin;  main,  I'itii^nsli  pi-eceilmt,  ami  a  lawyer 
traint^d  in  a  {»rovinc(;  wbei-e  I'lnj^lisb  law  is  I'ollowed  is,  othei- 
ihinfTH  being  e(|ual,  bettei' (jualifi.'d  to  discharge  tin;  (bttics  of 
the  department  oi"  jiistic(j  than  lawyers  accustomed  simply  to 
th(,:  Fii!iicb  code  wbicb  p)-e\ails  iti  (Quebec.  Mr.  Mackeii/.ic 
was,  however,  very  rortunaio  in  (obtaining  the  sei'viccs  of  sucb 
distinguished  men  as  Messrs.  ]Jorion  and  l^'ournier,  as  their 
generai  kn(»w  ledge  of  law  beyond  tbe  i-aiig*;  (jf  tli<;  courts  in 
which  they  usually  jiractised,  itnabled  them  to  dea,l  successfully 
with  all  matt<!rs  pei'taining  to  tbe  administration  of  justice. 
If,  in  th(!  l'rovinc(!  of  Ontario,  a,  man  of  political  ex[M-rience 
eoidd  be  foutul  whose  legal  training  would  command  the  eon- 
lidence  of  the  country,  Mr.  Macken/ie  lelt  that  it  would 
strengthen  bis  ('abinet  not  only  for  jturposes  of  legislation, 
l)Ut  also  for  tbe  gtMieral  election  w  hich  was  to  b»llow  proroga- 
tion. Witii  this  object  in  view,  be  oU'ei'iid  the  portfolio  ren- 
defe.l  \aeant  by  I liii  retirement  of  Mr.  IMake,  tothe  Ibju.  Oliver 
Mowat,  now  Sir  Olivt-r  Mowat,  Premier  of  Ontario.  The  olhr 
was,  no  doubt, a  tempting  one.  liy  a  man  h-ss  inii>ressed  with 
the  great  iasues,  constitution.d  and  otherwise,  for  which  ho 
was  responsible  as  I'leuiicsr  of  the  greatest  I'rovince   of   the 


m 


4G4 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


Dominion,  such  a  pvoposal  would  have  been  immediately 
accepted.  Mr.  Mowat's  refusal  adds  another  to  the  many  obli- 
gations under  which  he  has  placed  his  native  province. 

•'Toronto,  Jan.  15th,  1877. 

"Mv  Deau  Mackenzie, — I  continue  to  think  that  I  ^;hould  nob  consider 
the  question  of  leaving  the  local  House,  until  after  our  general  election. 
Should  you  then  propose  it  to  me,  it  would  be  my  duty  to  weigh  well  the 
considerations,  political  and  personal,  which  might  then  bear  on  such  a 
change,  and  either  for  it  or  against  it.  If  a  decision  before  our  local 
elections  should  be  necessary,  my  present  impression  is  that  I  ought  to 
remain  where  I  am,  in  order  to  perform  my  part  in  securing  for  the  pro- 
vince a  good  Reform  majority  for  another  term  ;  and  I  have  not  con- 
sidered the  matter  further. 

*' Tours  ever,   0.  Mowat." 

In  his  budget  speech,  the  Minister  of  Finance  pointed  to  a 
consideral)le  reduction  in  the  expenditures  per  capita,  as  con- 
trasted with  the  period  before  the  Government  took  office,  and 
to  the  probability  that  the  dangers  which  at  that  time  beset 
the  country  would  soon  be  removed.  Under  these  circum- 
stances he  said ; 

"  It  appears  to  mo  to  bo  our  wisest  policy,  to  adhere  strictly  to  a 
revenue  tarift",  and  to  advance  steadily  but  continuously  with  those  im- 
portant ])ublic  works  which  cannot  be  delayed  without  grave  public 
injury  ;  also  to  fulfil,  as  far  as  we  can,  all  the  engagements  we  have 
entered  into,  witli  this  proviso,  however,  that  tliose  engagements  must  not 
be  allowed  to  imperil  our  general  position,  or  to  endanger  the  future  of 
the  whole  population  of  this  country.  I  do  not  pretend  to  say  that  all 
risks  are  past,  but  I  think  I  am  justified  in  asserting  that  the  risks,  at 
any  rate,  have  been  considerably  lessened.  I  do  not  look  for  any  sudden 
expansion.  I  can  hardly  say  that  I  desire  any  very  sudden  expansion  ; 
but  I  do  believe  that  wo  may  f.iirly  count  ou  a  steady  and  gradual  pro- 
gress, such  as  we  know  by  past  exi)erienco  has  rarely  failed  to  exist  in 
Canada,  oven  under  circumstances  quite  as  disadvantageous  as  those  with 
which  we  are  now  confronted." 


LAST  SESSION  IN  POWED. 


465 


As  leader  of  the  Opposition,  Sir  John  A.  Macdonald  pre- 
sented his  annual  resolution  upon  the  policy  ol*  his  party  on 
the  trade  question.  These  resolutions  have  already  been 
noticed  in  their  proper  place.  The  resolution  of  1878  was,  no 
doubt,  expanded  for  election  purposes,  as  in  its  enlarfijed  form 
it  covers  several  points  not  embraced  in  the  previous  resolu- 
tions. It  was  as  follows :  "  This  House  is  of  the  opinion  that 
the  welfare  of  Canada  requires  the  adoption  of  a  national 
[lolicy,  which,  by  a  judicious  readjustment  of  the  tariff,  will 
Ijenefit  and  foster  the  agricultural,  the  mining,  the  manufactur- 
ing and  other  interests  of  the  Dominion ;  that  such  a  policy 
will  retain  in  Canada  thousands  of  our  fellow  countrymen 
now  obliged  to  expatriate  themselves  in  search  of  the  employ- 
ment denied  them  at  home;  will  restore  prosperity  to  the 
struggling  industries,  now  so  sadly  (K.'[)ressed;  will  prevent 
Canada  from  being  made  a  sacrifice  market ;  will  encourage 
and  develop  an  active  interpro\'incial  trade,  and  moving  (as  it 
ought  to  do)  in  the  direction  of  a  reciprocity  of  tariti's  with 
our  neighbors,  so  far  as  tlie  varied  interests  of  Canada  may 
demand,  will  greatly  tend  to  procure  for  this  country,  eventu- 
ally, a  reciprocity  of  trade." 

It  will  be  observed  that  in  this  resolution  it  is  stated  for  the 
first  time  that  a  protective  tariff  would  prevent  Canadians 
from  expatriating  themselves  in  search  of  employment  denied 
linjmat  home,  and  that  in  addition  to  preventing  Canada  from 
being  made  a  sacrifice  market,  a  protective  tai'ifi'  would  ulti- 
mately lead  to  reciprocity  with  the  United  States. 

Tlu'  virtues  of  protection  were  evidently  growing  upon  the 
imagination  of  the  Conservatives  the  longer  the  question  was 
discusst'il.  A  system  that  in  187G  was  calculated  to  foster  the 
"struggling  m.MUufactures  and  industries,  as  well  as  the  agri- 
cultural products  of  the  country,"  in  1877  would  also  benefit 
DJ) 


46e 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


the  mininrr  interests  of  the  Dominion,  and,  in  1878,  would,  in 
addition  to  all  this,  keep  Canadians  at  home,  furnish  tiiem 
with  abundant  employment,  increase  inter-provincial  trade, 
and  eventually  secure  reciprocity  with  the  United  States. 
How  much  of  what  was  then  expected  has  been  realised  need 
not  be  here  discussed.  The  last  decennial  census  and  the 
McKinley  Bill  may  be  consulted  by  those  interested  in  further 
investigations. 

The  debate,  which  commenced  on  the  22nd  of  February 
and  lasted  until  the  12th  of  March,  was,  of  course,  the  chief 
feature  of  the  session,  laying  out,  as  it  did,  the  fighting grou ml 
for  the  forthcominrj  elections.  Sir  John  A.  MacdonaM's 
amendment  was  lost  hy  a  majorit}'  of  114  to  77.  At  other 
periods  of  the  session,  the  agricultural  interests  and  the  coal 
interests  of  the  country  were  discussed  in  spccitic  resolutions, 
a.sking  for  the  interference  of  the  Government  in  their  behalf, 
the  vote  in  each  case  being  nmch  smaller  than  the  vote  on  the 
general  policy  of  protection. 

During  this  session,  the  House  was  so  nnich  occupied  with 
the  discussion  of  the  trade  (question  as  to  be  unable  to  give 
but  little  attention  to  legislation.  Two  or  three  of  the  must 
important  measures  may,  however,  be  mentioned. 

In  order  to  secure  a  more  careful  audit  of  the  public  ac- 
counts, and  to  provide  for  the  expenditure  of  ])ublic  moneys 
in  strict  compliance  with  the  Supply  Bill,  it  was  thought 
necessary,  following  the  practice  of  England,  to  provide  lor 
the  appointment  of  an  Auditor-General,  wlio  should  IkjM 
ollice  during  good  behavior,  but  removalile  by  the  Governor- 
General  on  an  address  by  the  Senate  and  the  House  of  Com- 
mons. The  Auditor-General  is  vested  with  a  <i'('od  deal  of 
power  in  the  examination  of  accounts,  and  the  ollice  is  louml 
to  be  au  important  public  safeguard. 


4 


LAST  SESSION  IN  POWER. 


467 


)ul(l,  in 
h  tliem 
I  trade, 
States, 
led  need 
and  the 
.  further 

i'ebruary 
ihe  chief 
(f  rrroun*  I 
cdonaM'rf 
At  other 
I  the  coal 
solutions, 
L'ir  behalf, 
jtc  on  the 

pu'd  with 

lo  to  <;-ive 

the  most 

pulilio  ac- 
ic  moneys 
tiiou^ht 
rovide  lor 
lould  hoM 
Governor- 
c  of  Corn- 
Ill  1  (leal  '»t' 
ce  is  found 


The  Temperance  Act  of  1878  is  another  of  the  measures  of 
the  session  worthy  of  notice.  Reference  has  been  made  to 
the  numerous  petitions  presented  in  1874-5  in  favor  of  pro- 
hibition, and  to  the  appointment  of  a  special  commission  to 
enquire  into  the  results  of  legislation  for  the  proliibition  of 
the  liquor  traffic  in  the  United  States,  Mr.  Mackenzie  had 
declared  himself  in  favor  of  absolute  prohibition  whenever  he 
believed  public  opinion  was  sufficiently  well  educated  to  make 
such  legislation  effective.  As  we  had  not  reached  that  condi- 
tion yet,  and  as  it  \.'as  desirable  that  every  possible  restraint 
should  be  placed  upon  the  liquor  traffic,  his  colleague,  Mr. 
Scott,  introduced  into  the  Senate  a  bill,  since  known  as  the 
Scott  Act,  for  applying  the  principle  of  local  option  tu  the 
regulation  of  the  lic^uor  tratlic.  The  provisions  of  the  bill 
are  very  simple. 

On  the  petition  uf  one-fourth  of  the  electors  qualified  to 
vote  for  a  member  of  the  House  of  Commons  in  any  county  or 
city,  sul:>mitted  to  the  Governor-General,  and  publicly  announ- 
ced in  the  official  Gazette  of  the  province  in  which  such 
county  or  city  is  situated,  a  vote  by  ballot  is  to  be  taken  as  to 
wliether  on  tlie  day  on  which  the  Act  takes  effect,  any  person 
shfdl  be  allowed  to  sell  intoxicating  liquors  as  a  beverage,  so 
long  as  the  Act  continues  in  force. 

When  the  bill  was  before  the  House  of  Connnons,  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie, who  had  it  in  charge,  went  very  fully  into  a  discussion 
of  what  he  expected  it  would  accomplish,  and  of  the  machin- 
ery which  it  provided  for  restraining  the  liquor  traffic. 

"  lie  had  always  felt  that  wliile  tho  people  had  an  absolute  riyht  to  such 
legislation  as  would  practically  pruhiliit  the  sale  and  manufacture  of  in- 
toxicating licpiors,  yet  it  was  one  of  th(ise  moral  questions  which  must 
ultimately  bo  determined  by  tho  general  voi(;o  of  tho  people,  by  the  gen- 
eral sympathies  of  tho  popuhition,  and  that  however  righteous  such  an  Act 


!|l 


468 


LIFE  OF  THE  If  OX.  ALEXAXDER  MAGKEXZIE. 


miglit  bo,  however  boiifficial  in  the  general  resiiUs  to  tlio  n.-.iion,  j'ot  it 
was  one  that  intcrferotl  in  a  certain  manner — in  the  opininn  of  some  to  a 
great  extent— witli  the  liberties  of  the  peo[)]e  in  reference  to  the  trade  in, 
and  use  of,  intoxicating  liiiuors  of  all  kinds.  But  a  \ery  large  i)roi)or- 
tion  of  the  pe()[)le  of  this  country — a  large  majority  of  them,  indeed — be- 
lieved that  the  limitation  of  tliis  traflic  was  almost  essentially  necessary 
for  the  prosiierity  of  tlie  country.  This  bill  had  bfun  luoposcd  with  a 
view  of  having  an  etVeotive  pt-riiiissive  measuiL'  placed  in  the  hands  of  the 
people  of  .all  the  provinces,  with  its  m.achinery  adapted  to  a  «[uick  and 
prompt  response  to  public  opinion,  when  it  should  declare  itself  by  a  ma- 
jority in  favor  of  this  uicasun^  It  was  a  matter  of  serious  import  to  this 
country,  it  was  one  of  the  greatest  possible  imjiortance  in  its  social  and 
political  aspects,  and  iliere  could  be  no  doubt  whatever,  apart  from  ques- 
tions of  taxation  and  other  questions  which  arose,  that  it  was  one  of  the 
greatest  possiltle  importance  to  this  country  that  we  should  be  able  in 
some  way  or  otlier  lo  check  the  torrents  of  intoxication,  which  for  many 
years  had  been  increasing  and  pouring  in,  in  an  uidimitcd  sti'cam  over  the 
land.  No  one,  he  thought,  could  doulit  that,  aiul  iuiy  one  who  Imd  ob- 
served the  course  of  2>i't'ceedings  at  great  public  gatherings  must  have 
been  satisfied  that  the  temperance  agitation  had  already  resulted,  even 
without  the  enactment  of  any  law,  in  materiidly  producing  the  desire  to 
abstain  from  the  excessive  use  of  .stinudants  in  the  shape  of  spirits.  It 
was  the  duty  of  eveiy  one  who  loved  his  country,  and  who  wished  well  to 
our  institutions  and  to  our  churches,  to  endeavor  to  aid  those  who  had 
been  devoting  their  voluntary  etibi'ts  to  the  accomplishment  of  this  end, 
and  he  was  sure  this  House,  in  connnon  witli  the  other  branch  of  the 
Legislature,  would  cordially  respond  to  the  invitation  given  by  the  intro- 
duction of  this  rill,  in  aiding  to  the  extent  of  their  power  in  repressing  a 
tratlic  which  had  produced  so  nuich  disaster  of  every  kind,  and  which 
threatened,  if  left  uncontrolled,  to  exercise  a  still  more  disastrous  and 
permanent  evil  influence  on  the  destinies  of  this  country. " 

But  very  little  objection  was  taken  to  the  bill  in  its  passage 
through  the  House  of  Counuons.  The  Speaker,  who,  while  the 
House  18  in  Conunittee  ol'  the  Whole,  has  the  same  privi- 
leges as  any  other  member,  objected  to  the  measure  as  tyran- 
*-(ical.     A  prohibituiy  law  in  the  Province  of  New  Brunswick 


LAST  SESSION  IN  POWER. 


4G9 


n,  yet  it 
uinc  tij  !i 
trado  in, 
])ro[ii>i'- 
eecl — bo- 
leccssary 
(1  with  a 
Ills  of  the 
[uick  and 
by  a  nia- 
H't  to  this 
social  and 
roiii  ques- 
une  of  the 
)0  able  in 
for  many 
11  (iver  the 
(.  had  ob- 
iiuist   have 
ilted,  even 
!  desire  to 
spirits.     It 
lod  well  to 
u  who  had 
f  this  end, 
nch  of  the 
^  the  intro- 
epressing  a 
and  which 
istruus  and 


ts  passage 
while  the 

me  privi- 
as  tyran- 

[>ruiis\vick 


from  wlilch  he  came  was  repeale<i  as  Itoiiig  inoperative,  and 
the  Liuvcrnment  wliieh  introduced  the  measure  and  carried  it 
through  the  Legislative  Assembly  of  that  province  was  de- 
feated at  the  polls  by  an  overwhehning  majority. 

Mr.  Mackenzie's  courage  in  su])porting  prohibitory  legisla- 
tion is  worthy  of  the  highest  praise,  and  should  have  brought 
to  him  more  political  support  than  it  did.  He  had  a  right  to 
expect,  if  he  looked  at  the  matter  from  purely  seltish  consider- 
ations, that  where  about  a  half  a  million  ol"  people  of  both 
aides  of  politics  petitioned  Parliament  for  certain  legislation, 
a  reasonable  number  of  these  would  follow  up  tlieir  request 
by  their  political  support,  particularly  wlmn  their  i-e(iuesfc  was 
granted.  A  temperance  man  who  would  demand  legislation 
such  as  the  Scott  Act  provided,  and  who  would  strike  down  at 
the  polls  the  man  who  granted  his  re<piest,  was  in  his  opinion 
an  inconceivable  specimen  of  duplicity.  He  was  not,  however, 
bidding  for  political  sujiport;  he  was  legislating  as  he  said 
himself  for  the  suppression  of  crime  and  for  the  protection  of 
the  public  morals,  and  if  by  so  doing  he  suffered  politically,  ho 
felt  the  cause  was  worthy  of  some  sacrifice. 

The  opponents  of  the  Government  allowed  the  l)ill  to  pass 
with  very  little  discussion.  The  licpior  interests  of  the  coun- 
try, as  a  rule,  supporteil  them  in  the  past,  and  as  the  respon- 
sibility of  all  legislation  rested  upon  the  Government,  they 
felt  they  had  a  party  excuse  for  not  opposing  wdiat  it  was 
(juite  evident  they  could  not  prevent. 

Very  important  modifications  were,  on  the  suggestion  of 
J\Ir.  Blake,  made  in  the  connnission  is.suetl  by  the  Imperial 
Government  to  the  Governor-General  of  Canada,  by  which 
the  Governor-General  is  obliged  to  take  the  advice  of  his 
Ministers  now,  where  he  formerly  was  empowered  to  act  on 
his   own  responsibility.     It  was  held  by  .Mr.   Dlake  and   his 


iMAGE  EVALUATION 
TEST  TARGET  (MT-3) 


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e. 


VI 


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fi) 


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///, 


fv 


\\ 


^#SC^' 


470 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKENZIE. 


colleagues  that  Canada  could  not  be  said  to  possess  in  its  ful- 
ness responsible  government,  so  long  as  the  Governor-General 
could  act  in  matters  aflecting  Canadian  interests  independ- 
ently of  his  Cabinet.  By  the  British  North  America  Act, 
Canada  is  invested  with  a  constitution  similar  in  principle  to 
that  of  the  United  States.  She  is,  therefore,  undoubtedly  en- 
titled to  tlie  fullest  freedom  of  self-government,  and  her  rights 
in  tliis  respect  should  bo  recognised  and  embodied  in  the  com- 
mission and  instructions  from  the  Crown  to  the  Governor- 
General.  Mr.  Bliike  contended  that,  "  as  a  rule,  the  Governor 
does  and  must  act  through  the  agency  and  on  the  advice  of 
Ministers,  and  Ministers  must  be  responsible  for  such  action, 
save  only  in  the  rare  instance  in  which,  owing  to  the  exist- 
ence of  substantial  Imperial  as  distinguished  from  Canadian 
interests,  it  is  considered  that  full  freedom  of  action  is  not 
vested  in  the  Canadian  people." 

After  some  correspondence  with  the  Earl  of  Cainarvon, 
Mr.  Blake,  at  the  request  of  the  Colonial  Office,  was  deputed 
to  visit  England  for  the  purpose  of  submitting  in  person  the 
views  of  the  Canadian  Goverinnont.  The  result  of  his  inter- 
view is  thus  dcscrilied  by  Mr.  Todd  in  his  "  Parliamentary 
Govennnent  of  the  Colonics"  : 

"Certain  portions  of  the  Governor's  coniniission  and  in.structions, 
lierctoforo  inserted  in  documents  of  this  description,  were  omitted  fn mi 
the  revised  draft  agreed  upon  Uv  use  in  Canada,  on  the  ground  that  thoy 
wore  obsolete,  or  Huperfluous  ami  uniu'ccssary.  Of  tliis  cliaractor  wo 
may  refer  to  the  directions  concerning  the  mootings  of  the  Executive  or 
Privy  Council,  and  the  transaction  of  business  by  that  bodj'  ;  the  clauso 
which  autliori.sed  the  Governor,  in  certain  contingencies,  to  act  in  oppo- 
sition to  the  advice  of  hi;)  Ministers  ;  the  chiuse  which  prosorilies  the 
classes  of  bills  to  bo  reserved  by  tin;  rjovornor-Cenoral  for  Imperial  con- 
sideration, and  c>n'tain  clauses  dealing  with  mutters  which  now  conio 
viithin  the  proviiico  of  the  I'rovincial  Governments  and  are  dealt  with  by 


LAST  SESS/OX  IX  POWEIi. 


471 


local  legislation,  over  which  the  (jovernor-Gencr.il  and  his  advisers  prac- 
tically exercise  no  control. 

"All  such  questions,  it  was  wisely  contended  by  Mr.  Blake,  should  be 
left  to  be  determined  by  he  application  to  them,  as  they  might  arise,  of 
the  constitutional  principles  involved  in  the  establishment  in  Canada  of 
[)arliamentary  government.  The  authority  of  the  Crown  in  every  colony 
is  suitably  and  undeniably  vested  in  the  Governor.  He  possesses  the  full 
constitutional  powers  which  Her  Majesty,  if  she  were  ruling  personally 
instead  of  through  his  agency,  could  exercise.  The  Governor-General 
has  an  undoubted  right  to  refuse  compliance  with  the  advice  of  his  INIinis- 
ters,  whereupon  the  latter  must  either  adopt  and  become  res[)onsible  for 
his  views,  or  leave  their  places  to  be  tilled  by  others  prepiired  to  take  that 
course. 

"Even  in  respect  to  questions  which  may  involve  Imperial  as  distinct 
from  Canadian  interests,  it  appeared  to  Mr.  Blake  iiiadvisabli;,  if  not  im- 
possible, to  formulate  any  rule  of  limitation  for  tlie  conduct  of  the  (iov- 
ernor-General.  'The  truth  is,'  he  observes,  '  tliat  Imperial  interests  are, 
under  our  present  system  of  government,  to  be  secured  in  matters  of 
Canadian  executive  policy,  not  by  any  such  clause  in  a  Governor's  in- 
structions (which  would  be  practically  inoperative,  and  if  it  can  be  sup- 
posed to  be  operative  would  be  mischievoas),  but  by  unitual  good  feeling 
and  by  projjer  consideration  on  the  part  of  Her  Majesty's  Canadian  ad- 
visers, the  Ci'own  necessarily  retaining  all  its  constitutional  rights  and 
powers  which  would  l)e  exercisable  in  any  emergency  in  which  the  indi- 
c  acd  securities  nught  be  found  U)  fail.'  He  therefore  suggested  ilie 
omisoiou  of  all  clauses  in  the  Uoyal  instructions  to  Governors  of  Canada 
wlii(.h  were  of  this  nature.  'I'he  sections  of  the  Uritish  North  Ann  rica 
Act  delining  auci  reguhuing  the  exercise  of  the  powers  which  ai)pertain 
to  the  olhce  of  ( io\('nior-(ieneral  in  a  system  of  government  expressly 
declared  by  that  statute  to  be  '  similar  in  i)rinciple  to  that  of  the  United 
Kingdom,'  were,  in  Mr.  I'dake's  judgment,  am])ly  sutlioient  to  determine 
the  constitutional  status  and  authority  of  that  otiicer,  subject,  of  course, 
'  to  any  further  instructions,  special  or  general,  which  tlio  Crown  may 
carefully  give,  should  circumslauco  render  that  course  desirable.'  " 


The  effect  ol'  tliosi;  (,'hiinn;os  is  to  reliovo  Ciiuadii  fniin  tlio 
interrLToncu  ol"  tl»o  Colonial    Office  on   all   matti'i-s  imt  |inro|y 


472 


LIFE  OF  THE  HON.  ALEXANDER  MACKE.\'/JE. 


m 


Tmporial  in  their  character.  As  was  said  by  the  Earl  of  Carnar- 
vou  :  "  When  interests  outside  the  Dominion  are  directly  affect- 
ed there  is  no  authority  except  the  Imperial  authority  whicli 
is  in  a  position  to  decide,  and  those  are  the  only  matters  now 
remaining  for  the  Colonial  Office  to  direct." 

It  is  the  habit  of  some  who  know  little  of  Mr.  Mackenzie's 
zeal  for  his  country  to  depreciate  his  services  during  the  five 
years  of  his  Administration.  Any  person,  however,  who 
studies  with  a  candid  mind  his  Administration  from  his  ac- 
ceptance of  office  in  1873  until  his  retirement  in  1878,  will 
find  that  he  was  not  only  an  executive  officer  of  great  ability 
and  force,  but  that  he  was  a  man  of  broader  statesmanship 
than  is  usually  recognised  even  by  many  of  his  friends.  What 
Sir  Oliver  Mowat  has  done  for  Ontario  in  maintaining  her 
constitution  and  her  provincial  rights,  Mr.  Mackenzie  has  done 
for  the  Dominion  of  Canada  in  her  relations  with  the  Colonial 
Office. 

In  the  troubles  with  British  Columbia;  in  the  commissi(m 
to  negotiate  a  treaty  at  Washington  in  1874 ;  in  the  appoint- 
ment of  a  commissioner  to  determine  the  amount  to  be  paid 
under  the  Washington  Treaty  in  1877  ;  and  in  the  relief  from 
the  interference  of  the  Colonial  Office,  secured  in  the  amended 
instructions  to  the  Governor-General  of  Canada,  Mr.  Macken- 
zie proved  himself  a  persistent  and  successful  advocate  of 
colonial  rights.  Had  he  given  more  of  his  time  to  the  redis- 
tribution of  constituencies,  or  to  the  preparation  of  Franchise 
Acts,  by  which  things  would  be  made  comfortable  for  his 
friends ;  or  had  he  studied  how  to  distribute  custom  houses, 
post  offices,  light  houses  and  piers,  so  as  to  influence  elections, 
or  had  he  accepted  contributions  from  contractors  or  rings  of 
protected  manufac